Zebra Finches and water

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Zebra Finches and water
From: "Robert Read" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 22:41:38 +0930
There is something that has long puzzled me about Zebra Finches.
Most books state that as these are seed eaters they need a source of water.  It is true that large flocks are always near a source of water such as a rock-hole or dam.  However small numbers are found in spots where the nearest water must be a long distance away.  For example I have seen them in the Simpson Desert where I think the nearest water would be at least 50 km away.
How do finches manage in locations like this?  It occurred to me that they might use other sources of water, for example parakeelya.  Has anyone observed anything like this? 
Robert Read
Alice Springs
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