Family: Estrildidae (Waxbills, Grass-finches, Mannikins, 19 species in Australia). Sometimes included in Subfamily Ploceinae of Family Ploceidae
Size: 14 cm
Distribution: Within about 500km of the coast of NT and the Northeast parts of WA and the most NW parts of QLD.
Habitat: Varied; dense shrubs interspersed with grass, near water
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest
The Gouldian Finch is one of the most brightly coloured birds in the world. Some have black faces, and some (like the one pictured here) have red faces.
The Gouldian finch is not found naturally in Sydney or the Blue Mountains, but many people keep them as pets. The photo below was from a pet bird kept in a large aviary. I have included it because it is such a beautiful bird.
Photo: Riverstone, Sydney NSW
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.
Some Birdwatching Resources
Birdsong, Don Stap. From the promotional material: "Following one of the world's experts on birdsong from the woods of Martha's Vineyard to the tropical forests of Central America, Don Stap brings to life the quest to unravel an ancient mystery: Why do birds sing and what do their songs mean? We quickly discover that one question leads to another. Why does the chestnut-sided warbler sing one song before dawn and another after sunrise? Why does the brown thrasher have a repertoire of two thousand songs when the chipping sparrow has only one? And how is the hermit thrush able to sing a duet with itself, producing two sounds simultaneously to create its beautiful, flutelike melody?"
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