Gouldian Finch

Gouldian Finch

Scientific Name: Erythrura gouldiae
Origin: Australia
Average Lifespan: 3 to 4 year
Size: 5 to 5 ½ inches
Color: bright red, yellow, green and black
Sounds: Singer
Interaction: Somewhat social

Photo: C. P. Ewing | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Gouldian Finch

The Gouldian Finch, also commonly called Lady Gouldian Finch and The Rainbow Finch is a special bird that is highly sought for its unique and amazing coloring. Both, the male and the female display bright colors of red, black, yellow and green. Although the females are less brightly colored, there is very minimal differences in the appearance of both sexes. One main difference is the males have purple colored chests, while the females display lighter colors.

These species can reach up to 130–140 mm in length when fully matured. Juveniles also display unique color patterns such as gray neck and beak, with olive green tail and wings. When newly hatched, this bird is pink in color with no feathers.

Personality and Temperament

It is certainly hard to resist touching this bird due to its very attractive color patterns. However, the Gouldian Finch hates to be held or touched, with some even dying when regularly held. In line with this fact, this species is not suitable for small children who love to touch and hold constantly.

The Gouldian Finch is best left as a “watching bird”, which means that it is best appreciated by observing and watching with no touching or holding involved. When this particular requirement is properly observed, these species can live to 3 to 4 years. On the other hand, disregarding this need will probably shorten its lifespan.

In terms of maintaining its surroundings, this species demands less effort compared to most finches. All it needs is a clean and spacious environment that will enable it to move and explore freely. Furthermore, it demands less bonding and interaction time with owners, which make it suitable for people on the go.

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Gouldian Finches are not known to be excellent parents. Most of the time, the mother will refuse to nest the eggs, with some even completely abandoning the babies immediately after laying the eggs. As a result, this species is one of the hardest to breed. In the wild, this greatly affects its population. On the other hand, breeding Gouldian Finches in captivity can be improved if you are willing to act as a foster parent. Carefully and properly taking care of the eggs will improve their chances of survival. Although not the best parents while the babies are still very young, this species is considered decent parents when the offspring start to mature.

Health and Care

Although smaller compared to other finches, these species require a roomy and spacious living area. One of the most important things to maintain in order to maximize its lifespan is regular exercises. A small cage will minimize its urge to move around and stretch its legs, thus decreasing its life.

In the wild, this bird thrives on eating various types of seeds. You should mimic this diet when kept in captivity, and also provide a steady supply of fresh greens and fruits. High-quality bird pellets can also be incorporated in its regular diet but must be kept to a minimum if possible. Avoid serving bird pellets that contain harmful ingredients and chemicals to minimize the risk of developing various health issues.

The Gouldian Finch is highly susceptible to parasitic and mite infections. Early detection is very important, and the bird must be taken immediately to a vet to get proper attention. When left untreated, these health issues can quickly lead to fatality. Other common health risks are overgrown nails and beak. When left untreated, these conditions can cause severe pain and discomfort and result in death. As a solution, regularly bring your pet to a professional groomer to get proper size of nails and beak.

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History and Background

In 1841, John Gould, an English ornithologist, named this species after his beloved wife, Lady Elizabeth Gould. Since then, it was considered as one of the most beautiful finches in the whole world by many bird enthusiasts. Unfortunately, there has been a steady decline in this bird’s population over the years. Although it is bred in large numbers in various countries like Australia, the population is still on a steady decline. As a solution, this species is now on a continuous rehabilitation program.

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