The Gouldian Finch Handbook

Non-Fiction - Animals
310 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I'm a little bit obsessed with Gouldian finches. It's nearly impossible not to fall in love with them, so after about 20 years of bird ownership I found them and settled in.
First thing I noticed - nobody knew much. We're still using chicken studies to decide how to treat for illness! So I made it my goal to study (I love learning) and find out all I could, which I have now shared with you. I hope you love the book, and the birds, as much as I do.
Thank you for reading.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The Gouldian Finch Handbook by Tanya Logan is a non-fiction guide that is a virtual first-person encyclopedia on the stewardship of this gorgeous bird. Logan builds on her own love and experience, sharing what she has learned with the hope that a fellow “bird slave” may find it of some use. The book begins with an introduction to Gouldians with a detailed overview of their features and characteristics. From there, Logan dives into the purchase and care of the birds, covering topics such as what to look for and what you'll need to house them, climate requirements, accessories, and comfort and safety concerns. Feeding and breeding come into play soon after, again with common signs and ways to protect and nurture parents, eggs, and eventually hatchlings. Potential medical issues round out the overall care, all of which concludes with some excellent resources and links.

I admit that my bird parenting skills are extremely rusty, given that my last avian baby was a cockatiel at the age of 9 that I whistled at and had no further responsibility toward. Enter The Gouldian Finch Handbook and within an hour I'm scouring London bird sites for my next family members—two, as Tanya Logan makes it clear they must be in pairs. I really loved the “10 Easy Facts About” entry into a few of the chapters, and found my favorite part of the book to be on the breeding of Gouldians. It's absolutely fascinating to read about the entire experience, but its the immediate post-hatchling details that were incredible. For example, the fact that hatchlings have nodules on the sides of their beaks to guide feeding in a dark nest really provides the connection between Gouldians in the wild and those we are privileged to care for in our own homes. This is an excellent book for the casual bird enthusiast, Gouldian parent, or soon to be bird slave. Very highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

As an amateur birdwatcher, one who enjoys watching the menagerie of feathered friends who frequent the feeders scattered around my property, I’m always keen to learn about birds in other parts of the world. Who knows, with the changing climate we may one day see some of these interesting birds at our own feeders and it might be a good idea to learn about them so we can provide the best foods. As much as I love my birds, I’ve never owned or cared for domesticated birds like the Lady Gouldian Finch. These are beautiful birds, bright colors with a gentle personality, and a soft yoo-hoo quiet song of greeting. Should I decide to add an aviary of beautiful birds to my domesticated life, these birds would definitely be an interesting addition. Tanya Logan’s book, The Gouldian Finch Handbook is a gem. In the natural habitat, the Lady Gouldian finch “originates from the grassy plains of northern Australia.” Far from me in the northern hemisphere and my collection of bird feeders that attract birds in all kinds of weather, from extreme heat to extreme cold. However, this bird did become popular as a caged bird as far back as the 1880s and the trapping of these birds between 1958 and 1981 was so intense (in the thousands), that Australia placed a ban on exporting its native birds.

With so much information to absorb and learn, it’s good to have an excellent resource to guide one through the do’s and don’ts of bird care. These are definitely beautiful birds and I think it was the cover photo of Tanya Logan’s book, The Gouldian Finch Handbook, that captured my interest. And there’s plenty more beautiful illustrations and photographs inside this book. It is what it says it is, a handbook, but certainly not as dry and uninteresting as the term ‘handbook’ suggests. I instantly became fascinated by this charmingly beautiful bird. I learned about its natural habitat, its history from being in the wild to becoming a caged bird. I also learned about how to keep and care for this finch, including what is the best food to feed it and what types of ailments might plague its well-being. I learned about genetics and breeding and the marvelous array of colors these birds might sport. The author even dispels certain myths and rumors circulating about these birds. The end of the book is an added resource in itself with multiple appendices to direct me to further reading and research. This is a concise and well-presented handbook – interesting, too.

Tammy Ruggles

The Gouldian Finch Handbook by Tanya Logan is the ultimate guide to this beautiful bird. Logan pulls out all the stops to give us a wealth of information on this rainbow-colored bird, native to Australia but adored around the world. I would agree that these finches are the most colorful birds on the globe, and whether you have a passing interest, or are a big fan, this is a must-have book for your collection. My interest in birds has normally been when I've captured one in a photo, or sketched one in the past--my personal favorite being the red-winged blackbird--but I must say I fell in love with the Gouldian Finch, thanks to this book. It has all the facts about the bird itself and also about how to keep them, as well as other important things like their health, choosing the right cage, how to keep them healthy, how to breed them if you desire, which other birds they get along with, how to feed a baby by hand, and so much more.

This book is well-organized, with a list of 10 facts in each chapter for quick reference. There are lots of color images, and even an extra goodie: A PDF with additional information that you can download from the author's website. I like that the book appeals to a wide audience, not just birdwatchers. With this much information and how-to's at your disposal, you can decide if you want to be a casual Gouldian Finch fan or a future expert. As with raising, breeding, or caring for any bird or animal, knowing the likes, dislikes, habits, and characteristics is a top priority. Logan admits that she isn't a veterinarian or an expert, but she does have a passion for this bird that is infectious. And she does have loads of personal experience with them. The Gouldian Finch Handbook by Tanya Logan is an irresistible introduction to this lovely, complicated bird.