The above photo of a Gouldian Finch in an aviary in the Adelaide Zoo, South Australia is not a good one.
Sure – it shows some of the brilliant colours of this magnificent species, but the bird in question would not turn to face me. I had enough problems focussing on the birds through the black wire netting of the aviary, only to add to my angst when the bird would not pose appropriately for me. Nor would any of the other finches in this cage despite waiting a considerable time for them to settle. They were all very flighty and more concerned about flying around than posing for me.
Next time… I hope.
The Gouldian Finch of northern Australia is one of our more spectacularly coloured bird species. Sadly, it is one species I have yet to see in its natural environment. (The photo above was taken through the wire netting of an aviary at the Adelaide Zoo.)
Gouldian Finches are unusual in that their heads are usually black, but about a quarter of them are red with a few being yellow. Both males and females show this colour variation.
Finches are very popular cage birds both here and overseas. The Gouldians are much prized aviary birds, probably due to their stunning colours.
Being predominantly seed eaters, Gouldian Finches are found in grasslands, open scrublands and spinifex country. Due to disease and seasonal burning of their habitats, this species has endangered status.