Animal Diaries Archive
29 December 2006
Welcome to another week with the Australia Zoo crew. This week was extra exciting in the Birds Department as we released all our finches from the breeding aviaries into the Rainforest Aviary.
The first to be released were the endangered Gouldian Finches. They have settled in really well, chasing each other, nesting and exploring. The Rainforest Aviary is now filled with tiny little calls that add to the atmosphere.
In the wild the Gouldian Finch is found in tropical northern Australia in savanna woodlands where there are open plains with tall trees, near mangroves and water. The Gouldian Finches are very social birds and are usually found in large flocks. They are known to share the same hollow when nesting. People used to think there were three different kinds, but now it is known that they are just colour variations. The Black-headed Gouldian Finch is the most common, and the Red-headed and Yellow-headed Gouldian Finch are not so common. Like the parrot world, the female finches are not as brightly coloured. Why? The female is less noticeable when sitting on the nest with her light colouring. The male is bright to distract predators away from the nest, ensuring the survival of the young.
The numbers of Gouldian Finches have decreased quite dramatically during the 20th century. They are now classified endangered in the wild. Their habitat has been reduced or altered. Parasites calledair sac mites have affected them. Their beautiful colour means that predators easily catch them. Fires are also listed as one threat to the natural populations.So the next time you’re in the Zoo come into the Rainforest Aviary and look high up in the trees for these magnificent finches.
Our Amazing Gouldian Finchs
The brilliant colouration of the Gouldian finch makes it one of the most beautiful finches in the world. Despite its popularity in our culture this amazing bird ...more