Gouldian Finches: Beautiful and Colorful
Are you considering a new pet bird? Gouldian Finches are beautiful birds and a favorite choice of bird lovers.
The Gouldian Finch is a brightly colored bird with gray, orange, red or blue heads, and they're native only to Australia. There is some concern about this species' diminishing numbers; therefore, Australia no longer allows exportation of these birds. However, they can be purchased from breeders in the United States. These beautiful birds come in a variety of colors, which are so vibrant that they almost seem surreal. As with most bird species, the males are the most colorful; however, the females are still very attractive. Both sexes have vivid markings of black, green, red and yellow. The chest feathers of the males are a deep purple, while the females are a softer mauve color. The males are easily distinguishable by the longer, center tail feather. Gouldians are a small bird, approximately 5 to 5.5 inches in size when fully grown.
For individuals interested in owning their first pet bird, this may not be the best choice, as they can be quite active and be somewhat more complicated to care for, than some of the other heartier breeds like Zebra and Society Finches. Unlike a parrot, or even parakeets and more common captive birds, Gouldian Finches do not like to be petted or held. Despite their resistance to human physical contact, they do have very pleasant personalities and delightful chirp that is soft and melodic. It is only the males that sing however, so if you are purchasing this breed to hear them sing, make sure you get a male. These beautiful songbirds are social by nature, so it is best to keep them in pairs, as they will become stressed very quickly if they are lonely. No matter what species it is, a bird that becomes depressed will not thrive, even under the best care.
Another thing to consider when choosing this bird as a pet, is the fact that they do not like their cages adjusted or moved frequently. Once they adjust to a particular environment, they prefer that it not be disrupted. Because this species is such an active one, they will need the biggest cage or space you can possibly manage, with a minimum flying space of no less than at least 20 inches. The cages can be made of metal or wood, but make sure the spacing between bars is less than a half inch to prevent injury or escape. A box cage is also a good choice, as it is closed on three sides and open only on the front side. Once a month gravel should be changed and the cage should be cleaned and disinfected, to help keep your bird healthy.
A fairly hearty species, Gouldian Finches should be kept at a comfortable temperature of around 70 degrees or slightly higher. It’s also a good idea to make sure the air does not become too dry; so using a humidifier to maintain the humidity at around 50 percent is recommended.
Gouldians are seed eaters. In their natural habitat, they forage for seeds that have fallen to the ground. You can use a good quality finch food, but it is a good idea to mix some spinifex grass seed into their diet too. Grit is also very important to their digestive health, as it is needed for the bird to digest the seed. Although the Gouldian's primary diet is seeds, they need some change in their nutrition throughout their life cycle requiring that you also supplement their diet occasionally with spouting seeds, chickweed, watercress, and fresh spinach or lettuce to help provide the necessary vitamin E essential to the Gouldian's health. As with most caged birds, a cuttlebone and fresh water every day is essential to their health and diet, and with the blue-black colored Gouldians, they will require the addition of vitamins in their soft food, since they cannot produce their own vitamin A.
What other beautiful and colorful exotics are out there that you can recommend to those who can't acquire this rare divine beauty? Please share your suggestions in the comments below.