Crimson Finch

A Crimson Finch perched on a tree branch at Cattana Wetlands near Cairns

Scientific Name: Neochmia phaeton

Size: Total Length 16-17cm

What does it look and sound like?

This large finch, with a long, tapered red tail and red face cannot be confused with any other Australian Finch. The upperparts of the Crimson Finch are brown, washed with grey and red. The underparts are pale brown on the female, crimson on the male, and the belly is black. Birds from Cape York Peninsula have a white belly. The call, a loud penetrating ‘tsee-tsee-tsee-tsee-tsee’, can be heard over several hundred metres.

Where is it found?

The Crimson Finch has a widespread distribution through northern Australia, and into southern New Guinea. In Australia, the Crimson Finch occurs from the Kimberley, WA, across the Top End and the Barkly Tableland of the NT, to north-eastern Qld.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Crimson Finch inhabits pockets of tall grassland and pandanus. It is not especially gregarious, usually occurring alone or in family groups, but will mix with other finch flocks.

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This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

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