Australo-Papuan Grassfinches

Fourteen of the 21 species of this family recorded in Australia are endemic, five of,the other breeding species extend to New Guinea and the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata is found in Timor. The Nutmeg Mannikin L. punctulata and Java Sparrow L. oryzivora are introduced, and the Pale-headed Munia L. pallida is recorded as a vagrant. Most species have bright markings, but the endemic Gouldian Finch Eythrura gouldiae (male) is arguably the most colourful of all of Australian birds.

Scientific name: Estrildidae (family)

Beautiful Firetail

Beautiful Firetail

  What does it look and sound like?  Generally brown-grey, with fine black and white barring and contrasting crimson rump and bill. Conspicuous black face-mask and pale blue eye-ring, and red conical bill. The wing tips of the male whiten during the breeding season and the overall plumage darkens. The female resembles the non-breeding male, but has complete barring on the abdomen, whereas the male h...
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

  What does it look and sound like?  This is a beautiful, thick-set finch with a powerful bill. The upperparts are rich chestnut, with a grey crown. The underparts are generally white, with a broad chestnut breast-band, bordered below with black, and conspicuous black face and throat. The call, ‘teet’ or ‘tit’, which may be either bell-like or long and drawn out, is used in a variety of situation...
Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetail

  What does it look and sound like?  This is a brightly coloured finch. The head is grey, while the remainder of the upperparts are greyish-brown, with the exception of the conspicuous red rump. The underparts are white, with contrasting black on the chest and flanks, the latter being heavily spotted with white. The iris and eyering are red, as is the short conical bill, and there is broad black l...
Red-browed Finch

Red-browed Finch

What does it look and sound like?   This finch can be distinguished by its bright red rump and red eyebrow.  The remainder of the body is olive-green above and grey below. The high‑pitched ‘seeee’ or ‘ssitt’ accompanies most movements. Where does it live?  The Red-browed Finch is distributed in a broad coastal band along the east coast of Australia, and a small population of escaped aviary birds ...
Zebra Finch

Zebra Finch

  What does it look and sound like?   Small, predominantly grey birds, with white underparts, chestnut coloured cheeks (male), black tear-drop eye stripes, and ‘zebra-like’ barred black and white tails. The most common calls are a loud nasal ‘tiah’, often given in flight, and a soft ‘tet-tet’ in close contact. Where does it live?  Found throughout most of the Australian mainland. What are its ...