Gouldian Finch

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Habitat: 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 mangroves and thickets, and savannas dotted with trees.

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.


Outside the breeding season the Gouldian Finch is partly migratory. Birds move in quite large flocks to more coastal areas and return back inland to breed when the rainy season arrives.


For most of the year Gouldian Finches feed mostly on ripe or half-ripe grass seeds.

During the breeding season, however, the diet consists almost entirely of insects. Insects are rich in protein and help meet the demanding appetite of the young birds.

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).

Clutch size is 4 to 8 eggs.

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 season is from January to April.