Red-browed Finch Click to enlarge image
Red-browed Finch Image: Duncan McCaskill
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    temporalis
    Genus
    Neochmia
    Family
    Passeridae
    Order
    Passeriformes
    Class
    Aves
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    10 cm to 12 cm

Introduction

The Red-browed Finch is one of only a very few small Australian birds that can be attracted to bird feeders.

Identification

The Red-browed Finch is most easily recognised by its bright red eyebrow, rump and beak, on an otherwise green and grey bird. Upperparts are olive green with grey underneath. Both sexes are similar in appearance. Often observed in small flocks, which feed on the grass. They will fly into dense undergrowth when disturbed by a passer-by.

Habitat

The Red-browed Finch is found in grassy areas interspersed with dense understorey vegetation, often along creek lines.

Distribution

The Red-browed Finch occurs mostly east of the Great Dividing Range, between Cape York in Queensland and the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia.



Seasonality

Largely sedentary.

Feeding and diet

The Red-browed Finch feeds on seeds and insects on the ground, but sometimes perches on seeding grass heads.

Communication

Short, high-pitched whistles.

Breeding behaviours

The nest of the Red-browed Finch is large and domed, with a side tunnel for an entrance. It is a rough construction of twigs and grass stems built in a dense shrub between 1 and 2 metres from the ground. Both parents share nest-building, incubation of the eggs and feeding of the young when they hatch.

  • Breeding Season: October to April
  • Clutch size: 4 to 5
  • Incubation: 14 days
  • Time in nest: 22 days

Conservation status

Its preference for open grassy areas surrounded by dense shrubbery enables the Red-browed Finch to survive well in weedy areas along railway tracks and creek lines, where seeding grasses escape the lawnmower. It may also benefit from bird feeders, provided the seeds are small and larger competitors are excluded.

References

  • Pizzey, G. and Knight, F. 1997. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
  • Morcombe, M. 2000. Field guide to Australian Birds. Steve Parish Publishing.
  • Simpson, K and Day, N. 1999. Field guide to the birds of Australia, 6th Edition. Penguin Books, Australia.