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Neochmia temporalis

Neochmia temporalis (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea
Familia: Estrildidae
Genus: Neochmia
Species: Neochmia temporalis
Subspecies: N. t. minor - N. t. temporalis


Neochmia temporalis (Latham, 1802)

Vernacular names


Supplementum indicis ornithologici p.xlviii

The Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis is an estrildid finch that inhabits the east coast of Australia. This species is also been introduced to French Polynesia for breeding. It is commonly found in temperate forest and dry savanna habitats. It may also be found in dry forest and mangrove habitats in tropical region.

The species is distinguished by the bright red stripe above the eye, and bright red rump. The rest of the body is grey, with olive wing coverts and collar. Juveniles do not have red brow marks, and lack olive colouration on the collar and wing coverts. The adults are 11–12 cm long[1].

Sub species
At Bunya Mountains National Park, Queensland, Australia

There are three noted sub-species: type species N. temporalis temporalis, in most of the east coast, and inland New South Wales and Victoria; N. temporalis minor, which is distinguished by a white breast, in northern Queensland, and south-east of Australia, and N. temporalis loftyi in the south west corner of South Australia, although the latter is sometimes not listed as a subspecies, as the differences between it and the type species are relatively minor[1].

Consevation status

The finch is common in the south east of its range, from Brisbane to Melbourne . Subspecies N. minor is common between Cooktown and Townsville [1]. The species is listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN red list[2]. There are no key threatening processes for N. temporalis, although the Pest Animal Control CRC suggests that the introduced Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata), which currently threatens some native Mannikins through increased competition, may be a minor threat to N. Lateralis in northern Queensland[3].

In regional areas the species needs adequate shrub density to provide cover and foraging places. The species has been noted to decline or even disappear in areas that have been cleared or grazed, especially in combination with drought[4].

Biology and Ecology

The Red Browed Finch is highly sociable, and is usually seen in small flocks of 10-20 individuals. Flocks are sedentary or nomadic in their local area. Flocks prefer semi-open woodland, especially edges of forests, where brushy scrub meets cleared areas, especially near creeks..

The finch makes short, piping high-pitched cheeps. When disturbed, the whole flock will disperse, cheeping, and re-congregate near-by.

N. temporalis is a seed eater, living mostly on grass and sedge seed, but will happily feed on many non-native seeds. Wild birds will even enter large-mesh aviaries in suburban areas to eat seed, given the opportunity[5].

The Red Browed Finch, like other weaver finches, builds a large domed nest, with a side entrance, out of grass and small twigs. Nests are usually built 2–3 meters above the ground in dense shrubs. Nesting is communal. Both parents share nest building, incubation of the eggs, and feed the young together[6]. 4-6 white eggs are laid per clutch 2-3 times per year, between October and April. Juveniles are fully independent within 28 days [7].

Red Browed Finches are common aviary birds. The Red Browed Finch will sometimes hybridise with the Star Finch, Crimson Finch, and Zebra Finch if kept together in captivity[8].


* BirdLife International (2004). Neochmia temporalis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* BirdLife Species Factsheet

1. ^ a b c Morcombe, Michael K. (2003). Field guide to Australian birds (Compact ed. ed.). Archerfield, Qld: Steve Parish Publishing.
2. ^ Butchart, Stuart; Jonathan Ekstrom, Matt Harding (2009). "Species factsheet: Neochmia temporalis". BirdLife. http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=8674&m=0. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
3. ^ Norris, Andrew; Tim Low, Iain Gordon, Glen Saunders, Steven Lapidge, Keryn Lapidge, Tony Peacock, Roger Pech (2005-06). "Review of the management of feral animals and their impact on biodiversity in the Rangelands". Pest Animal Control CRC. http://www.feral.org.au/feral_documents/Rangelands.pdf.
4. ^ Ford, Hugh A.; Geoffrey W. Barrett, Denis A. Saunders, Harry F. Recher (2001-01). "Why have birds in the woodlands of Southern Australia declined?". Biological Conservation 97 (1): 71–88. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(00)00101-4. ISSN 0006-3207. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V5X-415324B-R/2/dd257c939acf7bf84c35ffe4a5d7ad3d. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
5. ^ Todd, M. K. (1996). "Diet and Foraging Behaviour of Red-browed Finches Neochmia temporalis Near Newcastle, New South Wales". Emu 96 (4): 245. doi:10.1071/MU9960245. ISSN 0158-4197.
6. ^ Birds in Backyards (2007-02-19). "Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis) Fact sheet". BirdsinBackyards.net. http://birdsinbackyards.net/species/Neochmia-temporalis. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
7. ^ BirdCare (2008-01-29). "Red browed Finch or Aegintha temporalis". BirdCare.com.au. http://www.birdcare.com.au/red_browed_finch.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
8. ^ DEWHA (2010-12-02). "Neochmia ruficauda clarescens". Species Profile and Threats Database. Canberra: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=67118. Retrieved 2010-04-23.

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