Life and love amongst the finches: Aggressive redheads win the best nest sites, but can the Gouldian finches survive?

Sarah Pryke has always had an eye for the shape, colour and movement of animals. After growing up surrounded by wildlife in a remote rural area of South Africa, she was employed as an illustrator by the local museum while studying for her science degree at the University of Natal.

Sarah Pryke, Photo credit: SDP Photo, Tim Morison
Sarah Pryke, Photo credit: SDP Photo, Tim Morison

Now, as a post-doctoral fellow of the  at Macquarie University in Sydney, she is working in the Kimberleys investigating the impact of colour on the behaviour of the Gouldian finch, a small, dazzling bird of Australia’s tropical savannah.

With the help of her L’ORÉAL Australia For Women In Science Fellowship she plans to get a better understanding of their mating success – information that could be crucial to the survival of these endangered birds. Continue reading Life and love amongst the finches: Aggressive redheads win the best nest sites, but can the Gouldian finches survive?