National Capital Region Aviaries
Other Common Names: Gouldian Finch, Painted Finch, Rainbow Finch, Lady Gouldian Finch
The Gouldian Finch is perhaps one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Their exquisite colours mirror those of the rainbow. It is no surprise that many have fallen in love with this breathtaking creature.
Many of those who have kept Gouldian Finches maintain that there is perhaps no greater joy than keeping a Gouldian Finch. Like other finches the Gouldian has a beautiful chirping voice. It should be noted that singing is seen in males not females. The Gouldian Finch is a social creature, but more social with birds than people. They do not generally like to be held or petted, as is the case with most finches. If you are looking for a bird that enjoys physical human contact this is not the species for you. Because they are social creatures it is recommended they not be kept singly but rather in pairs or groups of pairs. Gouldian Finches do not adapt well to change and may become highly stressed when their cage or environment changes. Frequent stress of this variety can kill them because it lowers their resistance to disease. Gouldian Finches are active birds, but are less active than some other types of finches.
The Gouldian Finch is also known as the Painted Finch or Rainbow Finch because of its striking colours and pattern. A small bird, the Gouldian Finch weighs approximately 15 grams at maturity. Naturally occurring Gouldian Finches in the wild are seen in three specific colour patterns, with head colours of orange (also called the yellow form, this form is very rare), bright red or black (the most common form). Body colours of olive green with purple chest patches and yellow underbellies are common to all three. For domestic Gouldian Finches the body colours of Gouldian Finches can come in a wide array of colors which are distinct and well separated from other colours on the Gouldian. The typical Gouldian Finch will exhibit a deep violet chest, neon blue rump, neck and upper tail, black pintail and yellow belly. It must be noted that immatures and females are duller and more washed out than the brilliantly coloured males. This is not to say that the females are also not beautiful. Their distinctive pastel colours are also quite stunning. There are many different colour possibilities available in today's domestic Gouldian Finch. The one requirement is that colours remain clear and distinct. For example several breeders have bred Gouldians that have retained the bright red face but exhibit yellow backs and bright white chests, or white bellies with blue wings, back and necks.
The Gouldian Finch originates in Australia. Its natural habitat is difficult to access and is also quite limited. John Gould was the first to describe this beautiful bird. Mr. Gould was so taken by the breed that he originally named it after his wife. Since then it has been renamed to its current name 'Gouldian Finch'. There appears to be some inconsistency in the scientific classification of the Gouldian Finch. In some places they are recorded as 'Chloebia gouldiae' and others as 'Erythrura gouldiae'. It appears that both are accepted, but this dual scientific nomenclature is unusual. The Gouldian Finch is an endangered species; with only 2,500 mature adults existing naturally in the world, this is surprising because they were at one time one of the largest flock birds in Australia. The reasons for its decline are numerous one of the clearest reasons is destruction of its habitat due to poor land management and land use, additionally they are susceptible to respiratory infections in the wild caused by an endoparasitic mite. Efforts are being made to save this beautiful bird from becoming more endangered or extinct.