Last updated on 1-Nov 2017
Often seen foraging for grass seeds on the ground, the Red-browed Finch usually occurs in flocks of up to 10 birds and sometimes more. It often forages with other seed-eating birds, especially other finches and parrots, such as Red-rumped Parrots. Red-browed Finches also often associate with small insectivorous species, especially family groups of Superb Fairy-wrens, as well as Yellow-rumped Thornbills. The association with the fairy wrens is especially interesting, as the simple song of the Red-browed Finch sometimes sounds superficially similar to the contact call of the Superb Fairy-wren.
The Red-browed Finch is most easily recognised by its bright red eyebrow, rump and beak, on an otherwise green and grey bird. Upperparts are olive green with grey underneath. Both sexes are similar in appearance. Often observed in small flocks, which feed on the grass. They will fly into dense undergrowth when disturbed by a passer-by. Red-browed Finches may also be called Red-browed Firetails.
Short, high-pitched whistles. Bird call recorded by: Fred Van Gessel
The Red-browed Finch occurs mostly east of the Great Dividing Range, between Cape York in Queensland and the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia
The Red-browed Finch is found in grassy areas interspersed with dense understorey vegetation, often along creek lines.
Its preference for open grassy areas surrounded by dense shrubbery enables the Red-browed Finch to survive well in weedy areas along railway tracks and creek lines, where seeding grasses escape the lawnmower. It may also benefit from bird feeders, provided the seeds are small and larger competitors are excluded.
The Red-browed Finch feeds on seeds and insects on the ground, but sometimes perches on seeding grass heads.
The nest of the Red-browed Finch is large and domed, with a side tunnel for an entrance. It is a rough construction of twigs and grass stems built in a dense shrub between 1 and 2 metres from the ground. Both parents share nest-building, incubation of the eggs and feeding of the young when they hatch.