This large finch (16 to 17cm) with a long, tapered red tail and red face cannot be confused with any other Australian Finch. The upperparts are brown, washed with grey and red. The underparts are pale brown on the female, crimson on the male. Birds from Cape York Peninsula have a white belly. The Crimson Finch is not especially gregarious, usually occurring alone or in family groups, but will mix with other finch flocks. The call, a loud penetrating ‘tsee-tsee-tsee-tsee-tsee’, can be heard over several hundred metres. It inhabits pockets of tall grassland and pandanus.