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24

Red-browed Finch

(Neochmia temporalis)
Alternate name(s): "Red-browed Firetail", "Redhead", "Waxbill*", "Sydney Waxbill*", "Redbill", "Temporal Finch"
Aboriginal name(s): "naerne"

Size: 11-12 cm
Weight: 7-13 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Red-browed Finch at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "temporalis"

ADULT

Frontal view of a male Red-browed Finch bearing a gift for his partner (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, December 2013]

Frontal view of a Red-browed Finch (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Doctors Flat Road, Ensay North, East Gippsland, VIC, April 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Red-browed Finch foraging on the ground (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2013]

Near-frontal view of a Red-browed Finch seen by us in coastal heathland
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Lateral view of a Red-browed Finch (photo courtesy of I. Duncan)
[Glen Iris wetlands, Melbourne, VIC, May 2013]

Lateral view of a Red-browed Finch, different posture (photo courtesy of I. Duncan)
[Glen Iris wetlands, Melbourne, VIC, May 2013]

Lateral view of a Red-browed Finch
[Wingham, NSW, September 2011]

Near-dorsal view of a Red-browed Finch
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, October 2015]

Dorsal view of a Red-browed Finch in coastal heathland
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Lateral view of a Red-browed Finch in a food bowl (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Lateral view of a Red-browed Finch approaching a waterhole
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, March 2009]

Two Red-browed Finches waiting in a Cypress pine tree for the intruder to go away
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, April 2013]

Lateral view of two Red-browed Finches foraging on the ground
[September 2010]

Lateral view of a soeaking wet Red-browed Finch
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, October 2015]

Red-browed Finch preening
[Wingham, NSW, September 2011]

Trivia challenge: What is that? Answer: A Red-browed Finch preening
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, March 2009]

Red-browed Finches and Silvereyes taking a bath together (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Comparison between a Red-browed Finch and a Double-barred Finch (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, February 2013]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of an immature Red-browed Finch (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, February 2013]

Lateral view of an immature Red-browed Finch (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Regional Park, near Anstead, QLD, April 2017]

Lateral view of a juvenile Red-browed Finch (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Old Coach Road, Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, December 2014]

Lateral view of an adult (top) with two juvenile Red-browed Finches (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, April 2013]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Oct - Mar Eggs: 5 - 8 Incubation period: 13 - 15 days Fledging age: 24 days

Given the right conditions, Red-browed Finches can breed any time of the year.

Lateral view of a male Red-browed Finch bearing a gift for his partner to entice her into mating with him (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, December 2013]

And the trick worked - here he is getting his way... (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, December 2013]

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Bottle-shaped dome Material: Grass with feather lining Height above ground 1 - 3 m

Additional information

A. Morris reports that Red-browed Finches like to take advantage of the protection offered by nesting under a Wedge-tailed Eagle or Whistling Kite nest. There is now a separate page about various bird species nesting under the umbrella of a stronger, protective species.

Red-browed Finch nest in a decorative bush in a rural garden
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 16 x 12 mm Colour: White Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Small flock

All species of finches known to us are highly sociable.

Red-browed Finches like to drink from shallow waters, such as e.g. rockpools or puddles; this one used a casuarina to approach a rockpool below
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, April 2013]

Red-browed Finch approaching a waterhole
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, December 2011]

Others (Double-barred Finches) are still around, making a splash
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, December 2011]

But now it is the Red-browed Finch's turn...

... and it is clearly having a good time
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, December 2011]

The result is a pretty wet Red-browed Finch; time for preening and drying!
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, December 2011]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like all other finches known to us, Red-browed Finches feed on seeds. These include grass seeds and seeds of reeds.

Lateral view of a Red-browed Finch feeding on the seeds of reeds
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, October 2015]

Red-browed Finch feeding on the seeds of reeds
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, October 2015]

Red-browed Finch feeding on grass seeds (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, February 2013]

Red-browed Finch feeding on grass seeds (photo courtesy of A. Campbell)
[Mount McEuen, QLD, March 2017]

Obviously, Red-browed Finches do not have the power to crack casuarina seeds as Glossy Black-Cockatoos would do - they must wait until the seed cones open up by themselves to release the mature seeds
[Old Quipolly Dam, Qurindi, NSW, May 2013]

Obviously, Red-browed Finches do not have the power to crack casuarina seeds as Glossy Black-Cockatoos would do - they must wait until the seed cones open up by themselves to release the mature seeds
[Old Quipolly Dam, Qurindi, NSW, May 2013]

Obviously, Red-browed Finches do not have the power to crack casuarina seeds as Glossy Black-Cockatoos would do - they must wait until the seed cones open up by themselves to release the mature seeds
[Old Quipolly Dam, Qurindi, NSW, May 2013]

Red-browed Finch drinking from a waterhole
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, October 2015]

Red-browed Finch drinking from a waterhole
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, October 2015]

Red-browed Finch having a drink
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, October 2013]

Group of Red-browed Finches at a waterhole
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, October 2013]

Four of a total of about 20 birds approaching a waterhole at sunset
[Near Barraba, NSW, June 2011]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

rbfinch_20140124.mp3 temporalis
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
rbfinch_20140720.mp3 temporalis
(NW NSW)
Arrival © MD
rbfinch_20140130.mp3 temporalis
(NW NSW)
Departure © MD
rbfinch_20140129.mp3 temporalis
(NW NSW)
In flight © MD

We have also recorded the wing beat of a Red-browed Finch.

rbfinch_20140720_2.mp3 temporalis
(NW NSW)
Departure © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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