The Rose-Breasted Gouldian Finch

I was on the inter-net the other day and saw an article about a bloke in the USA who had, had somebody break into his aviaries and his years and years of line breeding of Gouldians were stolen. All of the birds that were stolen were mutations.
    At this point I would like to say that there are people who ask, "why take one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful finch in the world and change the colour of it". The most simple answer of that question is" because we can". Is that enough reason I hear you ask? Well, yes, I personally, think it is.
    They may have said to Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth, "why do you want to cross the Blue Mountains"? They probably could have answered, "because, we can" or "its there to be done".
    To me breeding mutations is an exiting hobby. You never quite know what is about to emerge from that nest. By putting that bird with this bird, you should, and I emphasise the word should, get this and that. How many times have you done this only to find, that something special, sitting out on a limb or perch one morning.

Getting back to the point about the man in the USA.
    He had bred Rose-Breasted Gouldians. I have asked many a Gouldian Mutation breeder here in Australia if they had heard of the Rose-Breasted Gouldian and no, no-one knew of any being bred.
    That is why we breed the mutation; because, one day we may strike the Rose-Breasted White Gouldian or that something else that is so special. Can you imagine what that Rose-Breasted Gouldian would look like? Stunning to say the least.
    Or we may be able to strike the perfectly Pied Cordon Bleu or the perfectly Pied Sea Green Red Faced Parrot Finch. Or we may be staggered at what may come from what seems to be absolutely nowhere, to get that special Pied or Lutino bird. I can tell you that it is a complete blast when out of nowhere one bobs up.
    Yes, I am an unabashed mutation breeder, but I also breed pure strain birds as well. That way I get the best of both worlds.
    I am not about to thrust onto you that the mutation is better than the pure strain, because it's not. Nor in my opinion is the pure bird better than the mutation. Some birds lend themselves to the mutation such as the Red Faced Parrot Finch with it's buttercup yellow flitting about in the aviary. I am first to admit that some birds do not look so well with the change of colour. I won't say here what birds I think do not look too good with a change of colour, as it would be detrimental to the breeders of those birds and it is only my opinion.

The mutation is not always bred in the aviary.
    The Fawn Zebra Finch was started by the capture of two birds of that colour by a Mr. Mick Lewitzka and was perfected as a set mutation in 1927. In 1964 in Townsville QLD. a chap had the Golden Crimson/Yellow Crimson Finch. It is thought that the original stock of this bird was wild caught. The first Black Faced Zebra Finch was reportedly also a captured bird in 1959 by Mr. Harry Nesbit of Griffith N.S.W. The first marked white was also reportedly, a trapped bird in Queensland.
    So, what I am saying here is, that it is not always breeders like myself or other mutation breeders, who are changing the birds. Some of the birds are doing it themselves in the wild; we are only trying to perfect it.
    I will keep breeding the mutation, because of the beautiful birds we can create with selective breeding. I will go out to the aviary each morning looking for that ultimate bird sitting on the perch. Who knows one day it just might be a White Rose-Breasted Gouldian.

Written by Doug Hill. Copyright remains with author.