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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 18, 2021

Did You Know? 15 Incredible Crimson Finch Facts

Crimson Finch Fact File

A crimson finch (Neochmia phaeton) is a seed-eating songbird found throughout northern Australia and New Guinea. They are divided into two subspecies. Crimson finches that have black underparts are referred to as black-bellied crimson finches while those with white underparts are called white-bellied crimson finches. This bird is also known as a blood finch or killer finch because of its aggressive nature. Black-bellied crimson finches are fairly common, at least within the north-western Australian range while the white-bellied ones live in the northeastern parts of Australia and Papua New Guinea. These birds have a huge preference for pandanus palms and they populate the wetlands consisting of pandanus in western Australia.

They are omnivorous in nature, feeding on both plants and insects and form monogamous pairs.  A pair builds its nest close to the nests of other birds. Both the males and females are involved in building the breeding nest. They build a large nest together using grasses, twigs, and strips of barks lined with fine grasses and vegetation. The chicks are born after an incubation period of 14 days.

To know more information about the finches, keep on reading these amazing facts. For similar content check out hummingbird and flycatcher facts too.

Crimson Finch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crimson finch?

A crimson finch (Neochmia phaeton) is a type of songbird.

What class of animal does a crimson finch belong to?

The crimson finch of Passeriformes order and Estrildidae family belong to the class Aves, the common class for all birds.

How many crimson finches are there in the world?

The total number of finches present in their range is currently not known and their global population has not been quantified. Since these birds occur commonly and have a large distribution, it is assumed they are following a stable population trend, free of any major threat. However, in some parts of Australia, they have a low to rare population. The population of white-bellied crimson finch has declined considerably in the northeastern Australian territories. The birds in this region are regarded as an Endangered species and the population is estimated at only 2000 individuals.

Where does a crimson finch live?

The distribution of crimson finches is extended over a large range in Australia. In the northeast region, these finches occur across the western part of the Cape York peninsula. Their range extends from the Kimberly division of northwestern Australia up to the Barkly Tableland in the northern territories. A large number of crimson finches are scattered throughout the north, northwestern, and northeastern parts of the Gulf of Queensland. A big population of these birds inhabits the southern coast of New Guinea. Recently, some birds have also been spotted near the north coast of Papua New Guinea.

What is a crimson finch's habitat?

Black-bellied finches are found throughout the Northern Territory of Australia. They inhabit semi-arid areas with tall and dense grass, shrubs, and trees. They forage on grassy savannas and shrublands. These birds also occupy riparian habitats of the Cape York peninsula and Queensland. They commonly occur in the swampy grasslands of these regions and forage on tall grass along water bodies. The white-bellied species mainly occupy agricultural pastures like bamboo stands, rice fields, and gardens. They are non-migratory birds, however they show some movements in their local area.

Who do crimson finches live with?

These birds form monogamous pairs and they live with one partner for their entire life. Nesting occurs in close proximity. A bird colony consists of multiple nests in close proximity, but these birds are not really social. Male finches are extremely aggressive towards their neighbors as well as towards other species. They defend their nests and protect them from any type of intruders.

Females are also believed to show aggression towards others. The bird is also referred to as a blood finch or killer finch because of its aggressive nature.

How long does a crimson finch live?

These finches are short-lived birds. They have a short lifespan ranging between five to six years. However, the survival rate of these birds is high in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of crimson finches lasts from December to September with peaks in the spring and fall seasons. These birds breed in colonies and multiple pairs nest in close proximity. These finches form monogamous pairs and they breed for life. The male shows its desire to copulate by fluffing its feathers and twisting its red tail towards its partner. Following these displays, the pair begins to breed. This species prefers to build its nest on pandanus palms just above the ground.  Females lay four to seven eggs in a single clutch after breeding.

The eggs hatch after an incubation period of two weeks or 14 days. The young birds leave the breeding nest after three weeks. In the white-bellied subspecies, only the females are involved in building the breeding nest and incubating the eggs. For breeding crimson finches in captivity, you need a box type of aviary to house their nest.

What is their conservation status?

Crimson finches are classified as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Currently, they have a stable population and there is no evidence that the bird is faced with any type of major threat. However, large-scale habitat destruction has had a negative impact on the bird population. Several transformations in their natural habitat have increased the frequency of floods or fires. Although this does not have any immediate adverse effect on the nesting grounds of the bird, they might encounter problems in the future. This means conservation actions are necessary to protect this breed of bird.

Crimson Finch Fun Facts

What do crimson finches look like?

The crimson finch is a brightly colored small seed-eating bird found in Australia. They have a soft grayish upper part around the neck. The crown is darker with dark brown and grayish feathers. The underparts and the belly region of the bird are either black or white, depending on the nature of the subspecies. The rest of the plumage is crimson. They can be difficult to distinguish from bright red-colored red finches. The rump and the tail are also made up of crimson feathers. The flight feather on the wings has a gray-brown tinge. They have a ruby red bill and red eyes. Sexes can be distinguished by differences in physical description. Males are brighter than the females.

The crimson finch incubates for 14 days.

How cute are they?

Like the strawberry finches of Asia, crimson finches are also one of the most beautifully colored birds of Australia. The amazing colors and pudgy structure of this bird make it look very cute.

How do they communicate?

The crimson finch communicates via vocalizations. They produce a series of short and rough rings by making a 'chee-chee-chee' sound.

How big is a crimson finch?

The length of a crimson finch ranges up to 5.1 in (13 cm). They are 1 in (2.5 cm) smaller than the saffron finch.

How fast can a crimson finch fly?

The flying speed of a crimson finch has not been determined.

How much does a crimson finch weigh?

The crimson finch can weigh up to 0.4 oz (13 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female birds of this species are referred to as cocks and hens respectively.

What would you call a baby crimson finch?

A young crimson finch is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The crimson finch is omnivorous. They primarily feed on grass seeds but occasionally they might feed on insects too.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they would if they are given proper care when housing them. Although the blood finch is an aggressive bird in the wild, it is largely domesticated as a pet because of its beautiful appearance.

Did you know...

A very famous painting of a crimson finch called the crimson fronted purple finch was drawn by the famous ornithologist, J.J. Audubon. However, this bird is not similar to the purple finch.

What are the different types of crimson finches?

Apart from the common black and crimson finch, there are many types of crimson finch birds found throughout the world with some similarities in their physical description. The crimson finch tanager or crimson breasted finch is a type of crimson finch (Rhodospingus) from South America. The native homeland of the crimson finch, Australia also shelters several types of crimson finches. They are the crimson-browed finch, crimson-tipped finch, crimson pileated finch or red pileated finch, crimson house finch, and crimson weaver finch. Some other finches that are found in different parts of the world are the Eurasian crimson-winged finch, the Asian crimson-winged finch, and the African crimson-winged finch.

Are crimson finches endangered?

The population trend of the crimson finch species is not a cause for much concern at the moment. These birds are fairly common in their range and are not facing any substantial threat. However, in the northeastern parts of Australia, the number of the white belly subspecies is declining rapidly. Therefore, they are considered Endangered there.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Blue Jay and Eastern Kingbird pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable finch coloring pages.

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