Red-browed Finch

Red-browed Finch perched on a branch

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 exists near Perth, Western Australia.

What are its habitats and habits? It is found in open forest, grasslands, agricultural areas and urban parks and gardens, although is seldom far from water.  The Red-browed Finch readily forms quite large flocks, that feed on a variety of ripe and half‑ripe grass seeds.  The diet is supplemented with fruits, herbs and some insects.  The flocks are quite confident around humans, and are often easy to observe at quite close range.  Both parents build the bulky, flask-shaped nest which is normally placed within a spiky bush, normally within a few metres of the ground.  Both birds also care for the five to eight young.

Interesting Fact: Red-browed Finches are regarded as highly social birds, and non-breeding birds have often been reported as helping rear the chicks from other broods.  This ‘home help’ was also given to captive chicks that had been left in their cage on the rear porch of a house.  On the carers return a steady stream of wild birds were feeding the chicks through the bars of the cage.

Scientific name: Neochmia temporalis

Size: 10 to 12 cm

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store