The Complete Gouldian Finch Birdwatching Profile

If you are an experienced Australian birdwatching enthusiast, then undoubtedly you have heard of the Gouldian Finch, even if you have not had the privilege of seeing one in the wild. This spectacular bird has gained a lot of media attention in recent years due to its declining numbers, due to reduced habitat. Many birdwatchers agree that this finch is the most spectacularly coloured bird in Australia. There are a number of organisations that have taken to preserving the habitats of this remarkable creature. Recent research has found that there are only about 2,500 Gouldian Finch’s living in the wild.

Description

The little bird gained it’s name from John Gould, the discoverer of the bird. Taken by the beauty of the purple chested bird, he named it the Lady Gouldian. With it’s characteristic purple plumage, yellow feathered chest and green back, this little bird is hard to be mistaken.

Diet

As a grass-finch, the Gouldian Finch main diet source is from the ripe or semi-ripe seeds of native grasses. Interestingly for a few months during the year the bird changes its diet to cope with the arduous task of raising its young. During these months the birds diet consists mainly of small insects, which provide it with the added nutrients needed during this stressful period.

Habitat Location

It really is a tragedy when one considers the vast habitat that the Gouldian Finch once lived in, contrasted with the small areas that it occupies now. Many birdwatchers initially thought that the numbers of the Gouldian Finch were plummeting in the wild due to individuals capturing the birds for pets. Research has since shown that reduced habitats, and irregular fire patterns are primarily to blame for the reduced habitat. Nowadays the finch can only be found in the wild in the Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia. Mike Jarvis, one of the most respected birdwatching guides in Australia, regularly takes tours through the Mary River district and South of Pine Creek in the dry season, with great success with regular spotting’s of this endangered bird. If you are able to explore this region, keep an eye out for the finch in open woodlands near water sources. There is anecdotal evidence that they are often sighted near native spear-grasses.

How To Help The Gouldian Finch

Many kindhearted volunteers regularly monitor local waterholes in the Gouldian Finch’s native habitat to keep an eye out for the sightings. The more information that organisations can gather from volunteer birdwatchers on the habitat of the Gouldian Finch, the more that they can help protect that environment. Additionally individuals can take active steps to ensure that the current habitat of the bird is protected, and report any activities that are harming the area.

There have been new spotting’s of the Gouldian Finch in the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. Research has shown that this is not a population of birds that has moved to the area, but a population that has previously been undiscovered. This breeding population shows the importance of amateur birdwatchers reporting any sightings of the Gouldian Finch, as this area is now a protected area. With ongoing care and public awareness, generations of Australian will be able to enjoy seeing this most remarkable bird in the grasslands of Australia.

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Birds Warm in Winter

As the weather cools down, it’s important to remember that birds need additional care in winter. Many of our exotic and pet bird breeds are originally from warm, tropical climates and cold temperatures can be a health challenge. Here are a few guidelines for pet bird owners to keep in mind during cooler temperatures that will help them keep their pet birds healthy and happy.

Bird owners should move the cage to a draft free location, away from windows and doors. Moving your bird’s cage to a central location in the home can make a big difference in keeping deadly drafts and cold air away from sensitive birds. Shrink-wrap insulation kits can be used on windows and unused doorways in winter to keep cold air out and warm air in. Increasing the humidity indoors in winter is also good for birds, eliminating dryness and excess dander.

Remember that birds are sensitive to smoke and fumes that can come from wood, gas or kerosene heaters. Some electric heaters are treated with a non-stick coating, which can create fumes that are deadly to birds. Some radiator-style electric heaters can be effective, but be sure to check on possibly harmful coatings.

Bird owners should definitely have a cage cover on hand. Covering the cage at night will help keep birds cozy. Some birds enjoy snugglies and snoozies to help keep them warm at night. Heat lamps can be used, and infrared bulbs will create a glow that does not interfere with the bird’s sleep cycle. It’s important to choose only a bird-safe heat lamp recommended for avian use. Pay attention to the bulbs used in the heat lamp – any bulbs coated with polytetrafluoroethylene can emit toxic fumes when overheated. There are also ceramic heating elements that can be used for birds – from those that clamp onto the cage to heat panels that are placed around the cage. These are specifically designed for animal and avian use. Infrared heat panels that attach to the cage are also an energy-efficient way to keep your bird cozy this winter.

In addition to keeping your bird warm, you’ll want to ensure that heating your home doesn’t result in a lack of humidity. If so, there are a few simple things you can do to provide the proper conditions for your bird. Regular baths, showers or light misting should be continued throughout the winter months. You can also increase humidity in the home by using a vaporizer or humidifier designed for birds. Other options include placing shallow pans of water on radiators or in the oven when you’re pre-heating it, or simply leaving the bathroom door open when you shower to allow the steam into the house.

Feeding your bird a healthy, vitamin-rich diet throughout the year will help boost its immune system and stay healthier despite changes in temperature. Bird owners should make sure the winter diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain optimal health.

Of course, keeping a watchful eye on pet birds throughout the winter is important. As you make changes to your bird’s environment, be on the lookout for signs of overheating, such as panting, extended neck or holding the wings away from the body. Also keep an eye out for signs of any health problems – exposure to cold temperatures can lower the bird’s immunity and result in illness. At any time of year, simple bird care and monitoring will ensure that pet birds stay healthy and happy.