Australia has many different types of finches, both native and introduced. Perhaps the most familiar finch to many southern Australians is the House Sparrow. But here in the Strathbogies and across much of eastern Australia, we have our own ‘native sparrow’, more colourful and nowhere near as messy and noisy as a House Sparrow – the Red-browed Finch.
As well as having a bright red stripe above the eye, the red rump is prominent when birds are at rest or in flight. Like many small, ground-feeding birds, they are highly social, and usually seen in flocks. They are year-round residents of the Ranges. At this time of year they feed predominantly on the seeds of Winter Grass (Poa annua), one of the few grasses to flower and seed throughout the year. In Spring they build elongated, somewhat messy nests of woven grass in dense foliage. Though its still a little early for nest building up here, I notice that some birds to the west, in central Victoria, have already begun, so we can’t be far away.
Apologies for the quality of some of the bird pics – they were taken through a window pane.