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Gouldian Finch
Latin Name: Erythura gouldiae
Other Names: Lady Gould Finch, Purple Breasted Finch, Purple Chested Finch, Rainbow Finch

Endangered Gouldian Finch

Save The Gouldian Fund



Beautiful Firetail
Black Throated Finch
Blue Faced Parrot Finch
Chestnut Breasted Mannikin
Crimson Finch
Diamond Firetail
Double Barred Finch
Gouldian Finch
Long Tailed Finch

Identification Gouldian Finch
Male: elegant, colourful finch with lilac chest and yellow abdomen. Ivory bill, red tip. Face black in most but crimson in some and yellow-ochre in rare individuals. Even though the black head is the most common, red heads will eventually take over as red is the genetically dominant colour. Grass green above with cobalt-blue rump. Black tail drawn into fine, thin wisps. Female: duller. Size 13-14cm. Juv: upper bill blackish, lower bill white; plumage ashy-grey and olive. John Gould  led a group from England to explore Australian birdlife between 1838 and 1840 . He named the Gouldian finch using his last name in memory of his wife Elizabeth, who had died after the Australian trip.

Voice Gouldian Finch
Call: Variations of reedy 'ssitt', in contact and alarm, often repeated. Song: Faint high pitched hisses and whines interspersed with clicking.

Habitat Gouldian Finch
Open woodland, grasslands bordering watercourses, dry ridges where spinifex flourishes, in pairs or flocks. The Gouldian finch eats seeds off grasses. They eat annual spear grass for most of the dry season. In the wet season the Gouldian finch eats seed off the Perennial grass. In the breeding season they also eat insects. (Not required in captivity.)

Distribution Gouldian Finch
Patchy in northern subcoastal woodlands from Kimberleys to Arnhem Land and thinly to central Cape York Peninsula. Gouldian finches are an Australian endangered species. They are rarely seen flying in flocks any more. There are less than 2500 Gouldian finches in the wild though the number of them are high in bird aviaries. Some reasons why their numbers are so low are because people have trapped them for the bird trade (now prohibited), there have been fires on their feeding grounds and because of disease in the wild.

Nest Gouldian Finch
Bottle shaped, composed of dried grasses; placed in a variety of situations - in tall grass, a bush, a small tree, termite mounds, but more often in the hollow limb of smooth-barked eucalypts, with scanty lining added.

Breeding Gouldian Finch
Breeding Season: January to August. Eggs: Four to eight; white. Incubation 14 days, by both sexes. Young fledge in about 22 days. To court a female the male bows to his potential mate several times and sings a beautiful song and then swings and bops his head up and down. That normally does the trick. Eggs are laid one per day. The parents keep feeding the young for 5 weeks after fledging. They take several months before their feathers moult into adult colours.

Breeders Price Guide (Aviary bred pairs) Gouldian Finch
$40 to $50

Aviary Licence Requirements Gouldian Finch

No No Yes No No ? No Yes

Aviary Notes Gouldian Finch
They prefer an enclosed aviary, away from cold and drafts. They like nest boxes as their skills at making their own nest are often lacking. They can be kept in a collection of small seed eaters, but will do better in a aviary with its own kind paired up or as a colony.
Suggestions for green food. Endive, silverbeet, spinach, kale, comfry, choy sum, bok choy and watercress.
Pest strips have been used as a preventative method of controlling air sac mite but they are now unavailable. The active ingredient Dichlorvos, an anticoagulant, is too poisonous and has been banned. Household insect sprays have also been recognised as being harmful to health. Camphor strips are still available as a repellant. I am not sure how Camphor affects air sac mites but at least it will keep the moths away.

Australian Field Guides

What Bird Is That? - Neville Cayley

Simpson & Day Field Guide To The Birds Of Australia - Ken Simpson

The Slater Field Guide To Australian Birds - Peter Slater

Photographic Field Guide To Birds Of Australia - Jim Flegg

Australian Birds: A Concise Photographic Field Guide - Donald & Molly Trounson

A Photographic Guide To Birds Of Australia Peter Rowland

The Pocket Field Guide to Australian Birds - Michael Morcombe

Masked Finch
Painted Firetail
Pictorella Mannikin
Plum Headed Finch
Red Browed Finch
Red Eared Firetail
Star Finch
Yellow Rumped Mannikin
Zebra Finch
Black Headed Mannikin Goldfinch Greenfinch Spice Finch

Normal Gouldian Head Colours

Red head Gouldians have a red tipped beak.
The Black head can have a red tipped beak, or a yellow tipped beak.
The Yellow head (Orange) has a yellow tipped beak.
All matings involving two Black headed parents produce 100% black headed young.
Several of the matings result in young of all three head colours.

Mutation Gouldian Head Colours.

There are many colour mutations that have been developed in captivity, which will eventually reduce the number of "normal" coloured birds available when bred together.


R = Red
B = Black
O = Orange (Known as Yellow )
ytb = yellow tipped beak
/ = Split to

Father   Mother   Son Head Colours Daughter Head Colours
R X R = R R
R X R/O = R R/O R R/O
R X B = R/B R
R X B/O = R/B R/B/O R R/O
R X Bytb = R/B/O R/O
R X O = R/O R/O
R/B X R = R R/B R B
R/B X R/O = R R/B R/O R/B/O R R/O B B/O
R/B X B = R/B B R B
R/B X B/O = R/B R/B/O B B/O R R/O B B/O
R/B X Bytb = R/B/O B/O R/O B/O
R/B X O = R/O R/B/O R/O B/O
R/O X R = R R/O R R/O
R/O X R/O = R R/O O R R/O O
R/O X B = R/B R/B/O R R/O
R/O X B/O = R/B R/B/O O/B R R/O O
R/O X Bytb = R/B/O O/B R/O O
R/O X O = R/O O R/O O
R/B/O X R = R R/B R/O R/B/O R R/O B B/O
R/B/O X R /O = R R/B R/O R/B/O O O/B R R/O B B/O Bytb O
R/B/O X B = R/B R/B/O B B/O R R/O B B/O
R/B/O X B/O = R/B R/B/O B B/O Bytb O/B R R/O B B/O Bytb O
R/B/O X Bytb = R/B/O B/O Bytb O/B R/O B/O Bytb O
R/B/O X O = R/O R/B/O O O/B R/O B/O Bytb O
B X R = R/B B
B X R/O = R/B R/B/O B B/O
B X B = B B
B X B/O = B B/O B B/O
B X Bytb = B/O B/O
B X O = R/B/O B/O
B/O X R = R/B R/B/O B B/O
B/O X R/O = R/B R/B/O O/B B B/O Bytb
B/O X B = B B/O B B/O
B/O X B/O = B B/O Bytb B B/O Bytb
B/O X Bytb = B/O Bytb B/O Bytb
B/O X O = R/B/O O/B B/O Bytb
Bytb X R = R/B/O B/O
Bytb X R/O = R/B/O O/B B/O Bytb
Bytb X B = B/O B/O
Bytb X B/O = B/O Bytb B/O Bytb
Bytb X Bytb = Bytb Bytb
Bytb X O = O/B Bytb
O X R = R/O R/O
O X R/O = R/O O R/O O
O X B = R/B/O R/O
O X B/O = R/B/O O/B R/O O
O X Bytb = O/B O
O X O = O O
O/B X R = R/O R/B/O R/O B/O
O/B X R/O = R/O R/B/O O O/B R/O B/O Bytb O
O/B X B = R/B/O B/O R/O B/O
O/B X B/O = R/B/O B/O Bytb O/B R/O B/O Bytb O
O/B X Bytb = Bytb O/B Bytb O
O/B X O = O O/B Bytb O

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