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
NEW: Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton.
Revised edition 3 July 2019. Paperback / softback, 176 pages. It has an orange cover. The original edition was 2005 and has a blue cover. Some of the book sellers listed here show the photo from the original/older blue cover edition, but the rest of the info (including the publication date and ISBN) are from the newer revised 2019 edition, so presumably that's the one you'll get.
This book has very high quality large photographs of the birds (as in actual photographs). Most of the photos take up a whole page for each bird photograph. "Know Your Birds" only has a selection of the most common birds, and not all the birds that are found in Australia. This makes it very good for beginners — since most of the field guides have all the birds — and it can be confusing looking at six almost identical species of birds, not knowing that five of them are rare and it's probably the common one that you're looking for. Which would be the only one listed in this book.
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