Finches of Australia

Australia’s finches belong to two families Рthe Estrildid Finches and the True Finches. Several of these birds are popular as pets due to their ease of maintenance, fast reproductive cycle, and bright-colored plumage.

Among the many finches native to Australia, the multicolored Gouldian Finch stands out. Initially confined to the northern part of the continent, it has gained worldwide recognition in captive environments such as zoos. Furthermore, the Zebra Finch, renowned for its remarkable adaptability to captivity, holds dominion over more than 75% of Australia’s vast landmass, making it a focal point of scientific inquiry.

Australian Finches

List of Finches Found in Australia

The Estrildid Finches are small birds that are 4-6 inches long. Most of these are endemic species, marked below from 1 to 14. However, some, like the Blue-faced Parrotfinch, are also found in other countries, and others, like the Java Sparrow, were introduced, marked from 15 to 21.

The True Finches were all introduced from other parts of the World like Europe and the Americas. These are highly adaptive birds, capable of thriving in most environments, and had no problems doing so in Australia. 

Estrildid Finches (Estrildidae)

  • Beautiful Firetail 
  • Black-throated Finch 
  • Diamond Firetail 
  • Double-barred Finch 
  • Gouldian Finch 
  • Long-tailed Finch 
  • Masked Finch 
  • Painted Firetail 
  • Pictorella Mannikin 
  • Plum-headed Finch 
  • Red-browed Finch 
  • Star Finch 
  • Yellow-rumped Mannikin 
  • Zebra Finch 
  • Blue-faced Parrotfinch
  • Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
  • Chestnut Munia
  • Crimson Finch
  • Java Sparrow
  • Pale-headed Munia
  • Scaly-breasted Munia

True Finches (Fringillidae)

While most varieties of finches are common, the beautiful Gouldian Finch has become rare in Australia. The reason behind this is the excessive trapping of the birds until 1981, which is when the last licensed finch trapping took place. Nowadays, exporting the Gouldian Finch from Australia is illegal, letting the overall wild population rise to about 2,500 individuals. However, the annual wildfires in the dry season tend to destroy the trees whose hollows they make their home in and the seeds they feed on. So, their situation remains precarious.

In the state of Victoria, you can find five finch species. Apart from the ubiquitous Zebra Finch, the other four indigenous varieties comprise the Diamond Firetail, Red-browed Finch, Beautiful Firetail, and Double-barred Finch.

Some of these finches are restricted to a specific region. For instance, the Red-eared Firetail is only found in the southwest of Australia, while the Red-browed Finch is only seen in the eastern part of the country.