Gouldian finches are named for English ornithologist John Gould. They are known for their bright colors, particularly their heads; the finches are mainly black-headed, yellow-headed or red-headed. Gouldian finches are popular amongst bird enthusiasts and are highly sought after. Native to Northern Australia, Gouldian finches are an endangered species in the wild.
The black-headed Gouldian finch gets its name due to the variation in color on the head. They are more common in the wild than the other types of Gouldian finches, outnumbering the red-headed Gouldian finches by three to one. The black coloration can be found on the head, cheeks and forehead.
The yellow- (or orange) headed Gouldian finch differs from the black-headed Gouldian finch due to the fact that its head, cheeks and the area close to its eyes are yellow instead of black. The yellow-headed Gouldian finch is the rarest type of Gouldian finch. In the wild, it can be found at a ratio of one yellow-headed Gouldian finch for every three thousand red- and black-headed Gouldian finches. The color of yellow in the yellow-headed variety can range from a reddish orange to a bright yellow in male Gouldian finches and a brownish yellow to a medium yellow in female Gouldian finches.
The red-headed Gouldian finches have red on their head, cheeks and near their eyes. Roughly a quarter of all Gouldian finches in the wild are red-headed. Mature male Gouldian finches will usually have a fully red head, whilst most females tend to have red heads with some darker feathers as well. Although it is thought that these female Gouldian finches must be crosses between red and black-headed finches, this is actually not true, due to the fact that the red-headed gene is a dominant gene linked to the sex gene and can't be split in females.
Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen
Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.