Gouldian Finch

Erythrura gouldiae


other names
Purple-breaysed Finch, Purple-chested Finch and Rainbow Finch




Male: 130 to 140mm in length. Crown and face black in most birds, but can be a dull crimson. Chin and throat are black. Dark brown eye. Bill is ivory with red tip. Back and wings grass green. Rump and upper tail coverts are blue. Undertail is white. Breast band is lilac. Belly is yellow. Feet are pale yellow.

Female: As female but colours are more muted.

: Ash brown colour over head. Olive on back and tail. Brown-white below.

Voice: Variations of "ssitt" in contact and alarm. The song is faint high pitched hisses and whines interspersed with clicking.

Once widespread from the Kimberleys to Cape York Peninsula, the Gouldian Finch is now only found in half of its former range. The finch can be found in savanna lands that are dotted with tall trees around permanent water sources. The diet ranges from seeding grasses and small insects. Finches are partly migratory, following food sources, in the winter dry season they shift coastwards and move further inland during the wet season (summer) to breed. Breeding season is December to April. Gouldian Finches are the only Australian finch to nest exclusively in tree hollows are termite mounds. Up to six pairs will nest in the one tree, often sharing hollows. Each pair rears two or three broods a season. Both parents incubate the eggs which is 12 to 13 days, but only the female sleeps in the nest at night. After fledging, at around 21 days, young may retain their juvenile colours for six months or more.

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