Sunday, June 2, 2013

F is for FINCH (2)

As explained on the zebra finch page there are a number of 'estrildid finches' in Australia and I'd like to show you some of the different types.  As finches tend to have similar feeding and breeding habits I won't go into detail but just try to explain what they look like or exactly where the different habitats are.

The Painted Firetail is truly beautiful.  It is brown above, and the underside is black with white spots.  The face and rump are bright scarlet red.  The Bill is red with a blue spot at the base of the lower mandible.  The female is duller with less red on her face and throat, and larger white spots on the sides. Immatures have little red on their face and have a brown rump.   They range in size from 10-12 cm.

The Gouldian Finch is beautifully coloured with a bright green back, yellow belly and a purple breast.  Most birds have a black face, but about 25% have red faces, but yellow-faced forms are rare.  The males are brighter coloured than the females. They range in size from 13-14cm.


The double-barred finch is a 10-11 cm long munia-like finch with a white face bordered with black, brown upperparts and throat, and white underparts.  The throat and underparts are separated by another black line.  The wings are patterned in brown and white.

The Red-browed finch is most easily recognisable by its bright red eyebrow, rump and beak, on an otherwise green and grey bird.  Upperparts are olive green with grey underneath.  Both sexes are similar in appearance. by a passer-by.

The blue-faced parrot finch is a locally common estrildid finch found in north-eastern Australia where it is endangered.  It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 10,000,000 km so quite widespread around the world.  It is about 12 cms in length, is heavily built and has a vivid blue face mask.  The upper parts fo the male's body are a rich green.  The throat downward is a much lighter green  The rump and upper tail coverts are red. The legs are light grey-brown, eyes are dark brown with a black beak.

The Star finch is a small and compact finch up to 12 cm in length.  The adults have a red facial 'mask', a bright orange-red bill, bright orange irises, dull red skin around the eyes, olive-green upperparts, a dark reddish-black tail that has pinkish-white spots or bands.

The Chestnut-breasted Mannikin is a thick-set brown finch with a grey crown, black face and a heavy grey bill.  It has a chestnut brown breast divided from white underparts by a black bar.  The rump and tail are golden orange, with a black undertail.  Females are paler than males and young birds are uniformly olive-brown above, pale below with a brown-buff chest and no black face or chest bar.

It would be nice to have all the different finches in our cage but many are more difficult to breed than the little Zebras who seem to thrive no matter where they live and are very hardy in all seasons.    


  1. Such gorgeous little birds. Thank you.

  2. They may only be quite tiny but they are very special and you are welcome. : )

  3. Sweet little birds. Other than the Goldfinch and the Purple House Finch ours are not nearly so colourful. We are such a drab country.

  4. Oh no Delores, yours is not a drab country at all. You'd just need to hear Phil talk about how beautiful Canada is and how he's always wanted to go and see its beauty. Too late for us now but colourful birds aren't everything. I got a glimpse of what your country has in miniature when we visited New Zealand a couple of times. The mountains and the snow and the beautiful autumn colours. To see that in a huge country like yours would be a dream come true for many.

  5. Thank you for posting this page, Mimsie. You've helped me identify a little visitor to my garden.