Gouldian Finch

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Habitat: Woodland, Wetland


As with most other grassfinch species, the Gouldian Finch is seldom found far from water, and needs to drink several times during the day. Throughout its range the species inhabits the edges of thickets, savannas dotted with trees and mangroves.

Unlike other Australian finches, they do not place their nests in shrubs and other vegetation. They prefer to nest in tree hollows and occasionally holes in termite nests.


During non-breeding periods, the Gouldian Finch displays a semi-nomadic behaviour, often making local movements within a few kilometers to find food resources. Birds move in quite large flocks and can cover substantial distances in search of sustenance when necessary.


For most of the year Gouldian Finches feed mostly on ripe or half-ripe grass seeds. Birds feed in small to large groups, and food may be taken on the ground or in flight.


The Gouldian Finch breeds in small social colonies.

It is the only grassfinch that nests exclusively in tree hollows or holes in termite mounds. Several pairs may share a single hollow. Rarely, birds will construct a dry grass nest in a bush or tree.

Two or three broods may be reared in a season, with both parents sharing incubating (13 days) and brooding duties. The nestling period is 21 days.

Breeding has been recorded in all months except October, and eggs recorded December through August. Peak of egg laying is April in the Northern Territory