Tag Archive: finches


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes (toes, three pointing forward and one back, which facilitates perching).
Family: Estrildidae (weaver-finches)

Genus/species: Erythrura gouldiae

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The upper body (dorsal) is grass-green from the lower nape to the back and wings. The rump is pale blue and the breast is purple. Ventrally the belly is bright yellow, and the bill is whitish, with a red or yellow tip.
The three distinct color variations are individuals having either a red, black or yellow head (all the same species).

Young Gouldian Finches are dull ashy grey on the head and hind neck, becoming olive on the back and tail. The underparts are brown white, paler on chin, and have a faint yellow tinge on the belly. The upper bill is blackish and the lower bill is pinkish. white. Adult colors appear after several months.

(male, red-head)

Gouldian Finch 19577587499_daaa661dd8_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Predominantly northern Australia tropical savannah woodland with grassy understory and open wide plains with hollow-bearing Eucalyptus trees.

(male, red-head)

Gouldian Finch Gouldian Finch 19738034016_fc07c6e883_k

DIET IN THE WILD: Grass seeds. In addition they feed on a variety of insects including beetles, termites, flies, flying ants, and spiders.

(female red-head)

 

Gouldian Finch 19141610094_37add50720_k

REPRODUCTION: E. gouldiae nest in tree hollows. Males and females incubate the eggs and help to raise the young. Gouldian finches may produce both the adults incubate the eggs and help to raise the young. Gouldian finches may produce four to eight eggs per clutch.

(young birds, immature colors)

CONSERVATION: IUCN Near Threatened (NT) by habitat modification due to cattle grazing, wildfires and increasing human developments. There are presently estimated to be only 2,500 to 10,000 mature individuals in the wild.

(female black-head)

19141609684_ed98ac2735_k

Color of Life note Sexual Selection
Sexual dichromatism is a form of sexual dimorphism in which males and females differ in color.
The male Gouldian finch is more brightly colors to impress prospective female partners. Ref: California Academy of Sciences, Color of Life exhibit.

References

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/19576167410/in/album-72157652559028013/

California Academy of Sciences Color of Life 2017

ARKive  www.arkive.org/gouldian-finch/erythrura-gouldiae/

Birdlife International www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=8695

IUCN  www.iucnredlist.org/details/biblio/22719744/0

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/1050437/details

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1y1

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves (Feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrates)
Order: Passeriformes (passerines or perching birds) Toes; three pointing forward and one back.
Family: Fringillidae (Finches, based on molecular-genetic analysis)

Genus/species: Euphonia violacea

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Dorsal or upper side blue-black with deep golden-yellow underparts and a yellow forehead. The female is olive-green above and greenish-yellow below. The male has the curious habit of imitating the vocalizations of a great variety of birds, such as hawks, parrots, toucans and crows.

Length 4.5 inches and weight is 1/2 oz.

male

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: E. violacea are found in tropical to subtropical areas of South America favoring tropical moist lowland forests but also found in open terrain with scattered trees and cultivated areas.

male

 Euphonia violacea 3193598750_af25280bfd_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Forages in underside of crown in upper third of tree mainly eating fruits with some bugs and nectar when seasonally available.

female

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REPRODUCTION: They build a globular nest. The female incubates 3-4 eggs alone for a period of approximately 13 to 14 days. Both the male and the female participate in feeding the nestlings with fledging at about 24 days due to the relatively low protein content in their fruit-rich diet.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List: Least Concern (LC)
Based upon its wide range and current estimated population size.

REMARKS: E. violacea‘s digestive tract is specialized for processing soft fruit pulp, being little more than a tube with a slight thickening along its length instead of a stomach. As specialists on mistletoe and some other toxic berries their weak digestive system is adapted to removing the flesh of the mistletoe berries without disturbing the toxic viscin layer surrounding each seed. Within ten minutes they can excrete the sticky strings of seeds by vigorous rear end movements, scraping them onto twigs and branches where the seeds have a chance to fall and germinate—good for the bird and good for the seeds. 

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Manual 2014

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3193598750/in/album-72157608454346681/

birdlife international datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/22722721

Cornell lab of Ornithology neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/references?p…

National Aviary  www.aviary.org/animals/Violaceous-euphonia

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-15f

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