Crimson chat

Epthianura tricolor

TAXONOMY

Epthianura tricolor Gould, 1841, Liverpool Plains, New South Wales, Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Tricolored chat, crimson tang, red canary; French: Epthianure tricolore; German: Scharlachtrugschmatzer; Spanish: Curruca Carmesí.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS 4.7 in (12 cm); 0.4 oz (11 g). Brownish upperparts with white throat and crimson crown and underparts.

DISTRIBUTION

Inland, western, and southern coasts of Australia, may break out into southeastern and eastern Australia.

HABITAT

Arid and semi-arid shrubland with saltbush, acacia, or other shrubs; occasionally, grassland or farmland.

BEHAVIOR

Small but highly mobile flocks in nonbreeding season. Metallic, whistling, and twittering calls.

Epthianura tricolor

I Resident

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Takes insects and other invertebrates from the ground and low shrubs, occasionally from the air. Eats seeds and probes flowers for nectar.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds as loosely associated pairs. Builds cup nest in low shrubs up to 3 ft (0.9 m). Clutches are of two to five eggs; incubation by both sexes for 10-14 days; fledges at 10 days. Both parents brood and feed young, and show distraction displays.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Common and widespread, but numbers vary greatly at any locality.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

An attractive bird often observed by desert visitors. ♦

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