Great Birding Moments # 26 Red Browed Finch

Red Browed Finch

Red Browed Finch

The Red Browed Finch is one of many beautiful species of finch found in Australia. It is always a delight to find a group of finches feeding on the grass, drinking from a pond or bird bath or visiting one’s garden. This species is found along the east coast through to much of Victoria and south eastern South Australia.

Red Browed Finch

Red Browed Finch

Locally, we do not have them here in Murray Bridge but they are widespread in the nearby Adelaide Hills and part of the Adelaide metropolitan area. My most recent sighting of this delightful species was on a visit to the Cleland Wildlife Park. As I was about to enter one of the walk through aviaries I was entranced by a large group, perhaps as many as 30, Red Brows coming to a feeding tray. There was much excitement, because the feeding tray had just been replenished by the keeper.

On entering the aviary there were many more inside the cage. These were also quite used to people visiting their home so is was quite easy to take some good photos.

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Update: this photo above – and many other photos featured on this site – can now be purchased on a range of merchandise such as T-shirts, aprons, wall plaques, clocks and mugs. Go to my Trevor’s Photos site here.


21 Responses to “Great Birding Moments # 26 Red Browed Finch”

  1. Snail says:

    They’re such busy little things. We get them quite frequently in the untidier parks and public land in the west of Melbourne. They don’t seem to be so fond of manicured lawns. (Not that there’s such a thing as a lawn in the whole of SE Australia at the moment.)

  2. Trevor says:

    We have been trendy for many years and didn’t know it. By that I mean that we haven’t had a lawn for at least ten years. I “mow the grass” rather than “mow the lawn” and only as needed. My wife is doing some serious studies in using native grasses instead of lawn. There seems to be great potential there – they require much less water and far fewer mowings. A win-win situation. She has written about this on her blog here

  3. Mike says:

    That is one seriously beautiful finch.

  4. Trevor says:

    Thanks Mike – I’d have to agree with you. But then – we have some really wonderful finches here in Australia it is hard to choose the most beautiful. Personally I like the Diamond Finch, mainly because this species is occasionally seen in our garden. Having said that, I’ll acknowledge that one would have to travel to many parts of the world to find a more beautiful bird than the Gouldian Finch, a species I have yet to see in the wild. I have seen them in a friend’s aviary and the colours are amazing.

  5. Christine Kiely says:

    Red Browed Finch
    We are very fortunate to have at least 30 – 40 Red Browed Finch in our garden every day. We have two bird feeders near our verandah and these beautiful birds feed from them each day. They are not shy at all and we are able to sit within 6 feet of them and watch them feed. We have many nests around our house, one of which is in a tree on our front lawn. We are very fortunate. We also regularly see Diamond Firetails – sometimes a dozen of them – on our lawn and around our garden.


  6. Beautiful Birds! Wish I had some that pretty around my place.
    I love everything about gardening, growing plants and learning all I can about organic gardening and all the garden accessories that are out there. Keep up the great work on this blog and I look forward to visiting again. By the way, you might really enjoy what you find at Have a great day

  7. Trevor says:

    Hi there Chris – thank you for visiting and for leaving a comment.

    You are very lucky to have such beautiful birds in your garden. It is obvious that you enjoy their company and they enjoy being there.

  8. Trevor says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog about Australian birds and for your kind comments Mark. We know that we are very fortunate to have such beautiful birds here in Australia. It is a constant delight to see them in our gardens.

  9. Darren Slater says:

    Hey guys, have a question if someone can answer it. My friend and I removed 16 very large Cypress tree’s from his farm west of Geelong. We have planted it out with native tree’s and as he has lots of Red brows feeding and breeding on his farm we would like to plant native grasses that they prefer to eat but no one seems to respond to my question. Any info would be great.
    Darren Slater

  10. Trevor says:

    Hi there Darren, welcome to my birding blog.

    Your friend is doing the right thing already by planting native trees. I hope that this includes some smaller shrubby plants like Grevillea, Callistomen (bottle brush) and Melaleuca species that will provide havens for protection as well as nesting sites. The seeds may also be eaten by the Red Brows as will the insects they attract. (Red Brows do eat insects too).

    Of the grasses can I suggest extensive planting of Wallaby grass (Danthonia ssp new name is Austrodanthonia), Paspalum grass, (various ssp) and the various Stipa and Poa ssp. In fact – many of the Australian grasses native to that area around Geelong would be great.

    Sourcing the plants might prove a challenge, especially if you are looking for quantities. Check out the local nurseries and start asking questions. If all else fails – grow them yourself.

    It might also be worth checking out any native revegetation groups active in that area. A good start in your search would be to check out:

    All the best.

  11. […] not get a photo at the time, but more recently I took the photo below in the walk through aviary at Cleland Wildlife Park near Adelaide, South Australia. Budgerigars, Cleland Wildlife […]

  12. Midgie says:

    We have been living up in the Adelaide Hills for 5 years now and bought a block about 2 years ago. We have seen a wide vareity of birds and are becoming very interested in the different species that we see. We have seen this gorgeous little bird regularly amongst our large gardens. We’ve always wondered what it’s name is. They’re certainly not shy, we love watching the chubby little bodies bouncing around the garden as they feed – they’re actaully quite comical to watch! Thanks for your help. Do you have any suggestions for books that we could buy that would give us detailed pictures and descriptions of birds specifically from the Adealide Hills?

  13. Trevor says:

    Hi there Midgie. Thanks for the comments.

    There was an atlas of bird distribution of the Adelaide region published by Birds SA some years ago now (1994 using data from the mid-1980s) but that just has maps – no pictures.

    Most good bookshops have a range of excellent Australian Bird Field Guides available. Expect to pay $35-45 dollars. All are very thorough and mostly very accurate – it just comes down to personal taste and your budget. All guides have maps showing distribution throughout Australia. You could also check out one from your local library before buying one.

    Even if you don’t become an avid birder like me, having a field guide available in the house (or car when travelling) is always handy for identifying that unusual bird that might come into the garden – or seen on a walk or at a picnic.

  14. Midgie says:

    Thanks Trevor, perhaps I’ll spend some time hanging out in a bookstore and see what I can find.

    We originally come from the Adelaide Plains where it’s hot and dry, so we are just so excited by the word of birds that we see around us in the Hills. It’s really exciting to be getting to know more and more bird types and their behaviours and calls.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and joy with us.

  15. Trevor says:

    Hey Midgie – just a word of warning about “hanging out in a bookstore” I’ve found that they have the strange habit of emptying one’s wallet or severely damaging one’s credit card.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    On the positive side – birding is a very cheap and relaxing hobby. You can pursue it almost anywhere (I once made a list of birds seen in church – through a nearby window – go figure). I’ve also made a list of birds heard while in bed (while camping). I’ve even made lists of birds heard while sitting on the toilet.

    You could say I’m a little obsessed.

    As for being a cheap hobby, you don’t need any special equipment. Sure – you can buy expensive field guides and handbooks. The Handbook of Aussie birds (7 volumes) will set one back over $3000. Binoculars can cost from $125 to many thousands. Camera gear and travel can add considerably to costs – I spent over $6000 a few years ago to see and handful of species new to me on the slopes of Mt Everest (read about that on my travel blog).

    But birding can be as cheap as looking out of the window to see a beautiful finch or wren cavorting in the garden. The hobby is whatever you want to make it.

  16. […] I’ve seen is the one featured here on this page, and that was in a walk through aviary at Cleland Wildlife Park near […]

  17. […] Great Birding Moments – Red-browed Finches […]

  18. richard cohn says:

    We live on the hills face zone above McLaren Vale and see these lovely birds often in groups of up to 30.

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Richard – I’m jealous. Would love to have this species in our garden here in Murray Bridge. Still – I should be content with the wonderful range of birds we already have here.

  19. Trevor says:

    Update: this photo above – and many other photos featured on this site – can now be purchased on a range of merchandise such as T-shirts, aprons, wall plaques, clocks and mugs. Go to my Trevor’s Photos site here:

  20. […] example of this on my most recent visit was a small flock of Red-browed Finches drinking from some puddles on the path. Unfortunately the puddles were in deep shade, and the birds […]

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