Grassfinches of Australia A Video by GEO Wildlife Documentaries

Dale R. Thompson

Abstract


F or those aviculturists interested in finches, it is by far the Australian finches that have usually drawn the most attention. The Australian finches range from the common, but strikingly marked Zebra Finch, to probably the most colorful finch in the world, the Gouldian Finch. Yes, there are those, including myself, that early in the business, did not know that the Zebra Finch originated from Australia.

Having in the past reproduced a great number of Australian finches (nine species), I have always loved their song and behavior. With great enthusiasm, a male will sing in an upright position saying to the world that he has found a mate. Then with a great deal of effort, the pair will then build a nest, incubate and raise a family. Not an easy feat when one realizes this may happen over a two to three week period of time.

Traveling around the world observing parrots, finches and softbills has always been a joy to me personally and with over 40 trips under my belt, I realize that I have only just begun. On both trips to Australia, it has always been great to observe cockatoos and parrots in the wild, but those who have traveled with me know the world stops when it comes to finches and softbills. There has been many a stop (often to the distress of the driver) to observe a group of finches along the road.

It simply amazes me to see finches in the wild; I guess I have been so used to seeing finches in cages and flights. In Australia, the grasslands are their world and these finches seem to be so full of life in the wild. Whether in groups or pairs (as usually seen) these wild finches seem larger that life.

To observe over 40 Chestnut-breasted Manakins work over a wild field of

 

tailed Finches in their kitchen window) who cannot make a trip to Australia should obtain the video, GRASSFINCHES OF AUSTRALIA. This documentary shows finches in their natural habitats of Australia. Whether it is the deserts, the woodlands or the Mellaluca forests. this video examines the lives of these popular finches in the wild.

There are 18 finches represented and each is documented. It shows the often unique behavior of these finches, their courtship and nesting habits, and each species has been filmed in its own natural environment. You may observe behaviors and actions that you may not have seen in your captive finches.

All of the most familiar finches can be found in this video, with some outstanding close-ups of nests and feeding. These include the popular Zebra Finch, Long-tailed Grassfinch, Owl or Becheno (called the Double-barred in the film), Chestnut-breasted, Masked, Crimson, Plum-headed, Black-throated and the Star Finch.

Two outstanding pieces of footage· are shown of the Gouldian and Bluefaced Parrot Finches. It is breathtaking

 

to see the Gouldian Finch in its native habitat. And this documentary also tall grasses or to observe a pair of Masked Grassfinches close up (six

 

feet) right under my camera will always be a memory.

Aviculturists or pet owners (who have even a pair of Zebra or Shafshows rare footage on the Blue-faced Parrot Finch.

Those Australian Finches not common to American aviculture can also he seen in this documentary. Some are so beautifully colored and marked, it would be wonderful if we could have them in our aviaries. Some of these include the Red-browed, Beautiful, Diamond, Red-eared (the Australian version), and Painted Finches.

This is a documentary of these finches in the wild only and does not show them in aviary life. I personally recommend this video to all finch enthusiasts as it shows in a very professional manner a delightful group of finches that would be difficult to observe even if one does go to Australia.

Those wishing to ohtain this video, please send check or money order for $49 payable to "GWI Associates," to:

Kristine Spencer

 

 


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