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It’s dead, but that’s OK

September 2, 2017

Recently a neighbour (distance-wise, a relative term in the country) told me about a dead bird they had found on their property. It was described as having a definite ‘finch-like’ beak and a red face. The only common finches I knew of in the area were the Red-browed Finches (Neochmia temporalis), pictured left, a highly sociable bird I often see in large flocks on my lawn eating grass seeds. It has a red eyebrow but hardly a red face.

A photo (right) of the demised bird and some ‘googling’ revealed the mystery bird to be a European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis). European Goldfinches are native to Europe, north Africa and central Asia and were introduced into Australia in the 1860’s, probably as a cage bird. It has subsequently become established in south-eastern Australia. Furthermore this bird is from the family of birds called True Finches. It and another import, the Common Greenfinch (Chloris chloris), are the only true finches Australia has. All of the native ‘finches’ in Australia, of which there are over a dozen, are technically classed as Grassfinches and are generally smaller in size than True Finches.

So, mystery solved. I am not too disturbed that the bird was found deceased. A good feral is a dead feral. Is that too harsh???

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