Long-tailed Finch

This striking grassfinch can be identified by its fawn-brown upperparts, pinkish-brown underparts, blue-grey head and nape and black throat.  The tail is black and thread-like, with a contrasting white base.  Across its range, which extends from the North of Western Australia to north-western Queensland, its bill colour changes from yellow in the west to orange-red in the east.  Young birds have black bills throughout.  The Black-throated Finch of Eastern Australia, is strikingly in both plumage and habits to the Long-tailed Finch, but lacks the long tail and has a black bill colour.  The Long-tailed Finch inhabits dense grasslands, with scattered trees, and in close proximity to water.  In these areas the birds feed on grass seeds and insects.   Both species are usually seen in small flocks of 20 to 30 birds, but larger flocks may congregate in the drier areas.  Breeding also takes part in  loose colonies.  The female constructs the nest while the male gathers the nesting material.

Size: 13 to 16 cm