Intriguingly Colorful: The Rainbow Finch, a Feathered Kaleidoscope of Nature

Brilliantly colored this bird is unmistakable with his coat of various vivid green, yellow, purple, and blue.

Meet the Rainbow Finch

Photo Courtesy of Laura Wolf/CC BY 2.0

The Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian finch, Gould’s finch, or the rainbow finch, is a colorful passerine bird that is endemic to Australia. Measuring 4.7 – 5.9 inches in length, these birds weigh in at 0.49 – 0.53 oz. Males are brightly colored with black, green, yellow, red, and blues. The heads of the Rainbow finch can be red, black, or yellow with a flesh-colored beak. However, once they are in their breeding season, the tips of their beaks turn red, orange, or black.

Photo Courtesy of Shiva Shenoy/CC BY 2.0

Though brightly colored, females tend to be less brightly colored when compared to the male. One major difference is that the male’s chest is purple, while the females are a lighter mauve.

Juveniles are just as distinctive as their parents with their heads, sides, and necks being grey, with olive green backs, wings, and tail feathers.

Photo Courtesy of  Jürgen Schiller García derivative work: Snowmanradio / CC BY 2.0

These stunning little birds are endemic to northern Australia, with scattered reports from the Cape York Peninsula through to north-west Queensland and the Northern Territory to the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Photo Courtesy of Laurie Boyle/CC BY-SA 2.0

Also, a popular caged bird, when in the wild Rainbow finch gather together in large flocks consisting of numbers up to 1000 – 2000 birds, possibly to protect against predation. During the breeding season, they are usually found on rough scree slopes where vegetation is sparse. In the dry season, they tend to be more nomadic, going wherever there is food and water.

Photo Courtesy of Cayobo / CC BY 2.0

Like other members of their species, these finches are seed eaters. During the breeding season, Rainbow Finches will dine mostly on ripe or half-ripe grass seed. In the dry season, they forage on the ground for fallen seeds.

Photo Courtesy of Laurie Boyle/CC BY 2.0

Rainbow Finches reach breeding maturity right before they are one year old. In the wild, they build their nests in tree holes, usually during the early part of the dry season when there is plenty of food around. In captivity, they usually nest in nesting boxes of covered wicker baskets. Males do a particularly eye-catching courtship dance at this time.

Photo Courtesy of Shiva Shenoy / CC BY 2.0

Right up until 1977, this finch was trapped in greater numbers than any other finch mainly for the caged bird trade.

Photo Courtesy of Bernard Spragg. NZ/Public domain

This has resulted in the Rainbow finch being placed as a near-threatened species on the IUCN list.

Photo Courtesy of Dennis Jarvis/CC BY-SA 2.0

Watch and listen to these birds right here below:

H/T Wikipedia – Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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