Located near Nashville, Tennessee, Fabulous Finch specializes in the breeding of the finest Lady Gouldian Finches. We are genetically structured to produce most Gouldian color mutations, so we are sure to have the bird for you! We offer a complete line of Bird Food Products from Birds R Us and Quiko, Avian Medications from Morning Bird and Vetafarm, and Cage Accessories and Breeding Supplies for Finches, Canaries, and Softbills. We also carry Gouldian related merchandise including books and apparel. Stop by and visit Lil' Buddy, our roving reporter and mascot, as he brings you daily weather reports from Australia's Northern Territory, one of the primary remaining habitats of the Gouldian Finch in nature. And visit our Articles page for the most current scientific information on keeping and breeding Lady Gouldian Finches.
"Breeding Gouldian Finches: What Wild Gouldians Can Tell Us" by Bill Van Patten with contributions by Mike Fidler is a summary of the husbandry information in the book "The Gouldian Finch" (Evans and Fidler) including expanded and new information from current research at the Save the Gouldian Fund. This article used in conjunction with the feeding schedule described in "Lady Gouldian Finch Nutrition" represents the most current scientific information on breeding Gouldian finches.
Gouldian Finch Husbandry Consulting Service
Fabulous Finch now offers Gouldian finch husbandry planning services for academic and zoological institutions interested in improving an existing husbandry program, or establishing a new husbandry program for captive finches. Services include environment and nutritional planning for research and breeding. This service may also be valuable for the serious private collector and institutions such as retirement homes. Bill Van Patten has studied under Mike Fidler in the "bush" of Australia and at the Save the Gouldian Fund Research Facility in Cooranbong, Australia, and has toured some of the foremost indoor and outdoor Australian finch environments in the study of best practices. Project studies also include the Macquarie University - Sydney Zebra and Longtail finch research facilities. While we specialize in husbandy consulting for Australian finches, many practices are applicable to finch species from other continents. Please call Bill at (877) 346-2433 for more information.
Rates: $200 (USD) per hour or $1,000 (USD) per day (plus travel expenses)
Service offered world wide where English is a first or second language
Consultation by Phone Is Always Free!
Proud Sponsor (Please Give Generously)
Fabulous Finch has pledged to donate a portion of all Bird Care Product sales to Save the Gouldian Fund, an organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the Gouldian Finch in its natural habitat. There are less than 2500 Gouldians remaining in the wild. By donating directly to the fund by visiting their website, or by purchasing your Bird Care Products from Fabulous Finch you will be making a significant contribution to their efforts!
Gouldian Photographs by Mike Fidler
8" x 11" 10" x 14" 18" x 24"
Saving the Wild Gouldian
By Marcus Pollard and Bill Van Patten
The loss of any species in the wild is a tragedy. As a breeder of Lady Gouldian Finches, I guess my familiarity with their beauty and grace has made their potential loss in nature all the more compelling to me. But what could I do to help, living here in the United States. I found the answer in December of 2006. During a search on the internet, I found a website called Save the Gouldian Fund, managed by Mike and Elisabeth Fidler, along with Australian Zoologist and Aviculturist, Marcus Pollard. I knew immediately I had found a quality organization. I was familiar with Mike Fidler based on his book, The Gouldian Finch (co-authored with Stewart Evans). I consider the book a definitive source of information, written by deeply committed individuals with a true compassion for this species.
As I searched their website for information on how to participate, I was amazed that their Donor lists and links had very few names from the United States. I saw this as a two fold opportunity to participate. First, a donation was in order. Secondly, communication about this wonderful organization to my customers and other breeders here in the United States. In that way, my donation could hopefully be made larger. I have since evolved the two into an ongoing commitment to donate a portion of my sales to the Save the Gouldian Fund, while all the time communicating their message to my customers through a direct link from my website to theirs.
Another wonderful benefit that comes with participation in the Fund is the opportunity to "learn" while at the same time helping. It is very exciting to associate yourself with the folks at Save the Gouldian Fund, knowing that you can only become better at caring for your own birds by helping the Fund. And even though the Gouldian is apparently considered safe from going extinct due to domestic breeding in world aviculture, there will be something gone terribly wrong if we lose them in nature. Their rapid demise is shocking. But it is wonderful that there is a dedicated team at the location, trying to understand what has gone wrong and how to repair the damage before it is too late. We must maintain the habitat where they once flourished so we can continue to learn how to care for them domestically. If their natural habitat is damaged to the point where they can no longer exist, the original "blueprint" of their prosperity will be lost forever.
Upon contacting Save the Gouldian Fund, I received an almost immediate response from Marcus Pollard. Marcus is a founding member, and currently serves as Communications Officer for the Fund. I have asked Marcus to share a few words about the fund, and he has most graciously agreed to tell us more.
Firstly, let me thank Bill for the opportunity to present a little about the Save the Gouldian Fund (STGF) to your American audience. So please bear with me while I take you for a wander through the hectic time that has been the formation of the STGF.
I was asked by Mike and Elisabeth Fidler in 2005 whether I would be interested in helping form this body and to assist them in the daunting task of raising funds for research into the reasons for the decline of this iconic finch species and to help with its restoration in the wild. Sitting in the middle of the Kimberley region of Western Australia in 29 degree sunshine watching Australian finches of all species flitting around, I was eager to "do my bit" for this worthy cause.
The results of my research that followed painted a very sad picture indeed for many of the grain-eating birds of the Kimberley area. Decades of poorly managed fire regimes which were aimed at simply producing green biomass to feed cattle with no thought to seed production for avian species, combined with the stocking rates for cattle in the 1970's which increased the number of cattle per hectare, resulted in a massive decrease in the available seed stocks throughout the region.
Mike and Elisabeth Fidler hail from England and have been involved with the Gouldian for over 27 years, and they now call Australia home. Much of their time and financial outlay has been in the Australian Wildlife Conservancies (AWC) property at Mornington Sanctuary. This property was established with the aim of creating a sanctuary amid the cattle belt to investigate the reasons for the decline of the Gouldian in the wild. With the removal of the cattle and the adoption of a more controlled, natural fire regime throughout the property, the increase in Gouldians over the past 2 years has been encouraging indeed.
The AWC holds a regular Gouldian count every September which is staffed by volunteers from all over the globe. AWC appointed Dr. Sarah Legge as the chief scientific officer for Mornington, and in collaboration with Dr. Steve Murphy, they have set about unraveling the riddle of the decline of this species.
The first donation from the STGF to the AWC research efforts was of an all-terrain eight wheeled Argo vehicle which would allow the researchers to follow the Gouldians through both the wet and dry seasons. Following this, we now provide a half-time salary for a Gouldian research assistant so that when Dr. Legge's duties take her elsewhere there is always someone on hand to continue the task of gathering data on the Gouldian project.
Not content with simply funding many facets of the wild research, Mike and Elisabeth also turned their home in New South Wales, Australia into a research station for Dr. Sarah Pryke of Macquarie University, who is working on the Gouldian in captivity and studying the social hierarchies within Gouldian populations. Dr. Pryke is also working on dietary studies which, it is hoped, will lead to the establishment of the first finch diet actually based on research into what finches really eat! The Research Centre now contains around 700 normal Gouldians. Many of Dr. Pryke's recent articles can be found on our website at www.savethegouldian.org in our "News" section.
Dr. Pryke has never been one to simply stay put, so she has established yet another research site in the Wyndham region of Western Australia where the wild Gouldians still drop into the local caravan park from time to time! In order to support her research, the STGF donated a Toyota Hilux fully kitted 4WD to get her and her researchers around the harsh countryside. It is envisaged that this site will provide another excellent stream of information about the wild Gouldian to complement the work being undertaken at Mornington Sanctuary. Two sites are definitely better than one!
At the time of writing we are also involved with a community project in the Wyndham area which is about to lead to further huge gains for Gouldian research. But more of that as it evolves!
As you can see, we have been very busy raising funds and making contributions for a worthy cause. Fortunately for us, the feeling among avicultural societies around the world has been such that we are able to continue to make a difference. People from Malta, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Sweden have made contributions in a host of ways. From direct donations to writing articles, running raffles, and in support of our first two Open Days, they have shown that bird people world wide care about the long term prospect of the wild Gouldian.
Save the Gouldian Fund's ongoing contributions supporting these many research activities will not only benefit the wild Gouldian Finch, but all of the granivorous birds of the Kimberley region. How can you help? Obviously any donation is gratefully appreciated. But just as important are offers to help us carry our message into the world wide community, and in particular in the United States. Website links to the Fund, postings on internet e-groups, chat rooms, and blogs, or any other method that you have expertise in are all ways that you can make a huge difference. Such have been the efforts of Bill, who has not only generously donated directly, but has also taken our Fund to the world on our behalf.
Should you wish to learn more, email David Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Save the Gouldian Fund, P.O. Box 147, Cooranbong, NSW 2265, Australia. We look forward to hearing from our American counterparts.