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CHARACTERISTICS OF

CRIMSON FINCH

Family: Estrildidae Genus: Neochmia Preferred Scientific Name Neochmia phaeton (Hombron & Jacquinot, 1841) Preferred Common Name Crimson Finch (do not confuse with the     Crimson-breasted finch) Other Common Names Australian Firefinch    Crimson White-bellie crimson finch Pale crimson finch Pheasant-tailed finch “BLOOD FINCH”   Other Scientific Names   International Common Names English:   Crimson Finch Spanish:   French:  Diamant phaéton Local Common Names Czech: Germany: Sonnenastrild, Sonnenamadine Italy: Diamante Rosso, Diamante Fetonte Netherlands: Zonastrild Turkey: USA:  Status:  Size, Weight: about 12 cm Ring size:  Habitat: AUSTRALIA, The here described subspecie Neochmia phaeton phaeton occurs from the northern part of Western Australia eastwards through Northern Australia and into northwestern Queensland. It also was found in West Papua, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The second subspecie N. phaeton albiventer occurs only on Cape York Peninsula. General: The male has a general brown colour. The feathers of back are washed dull carmine and the uppertail coverts are bright crimson. The upperwing coverts and      innermost secondaries such as black, the outer secondaries are margined with brown and on outer web dull crimson. The primaries are brown and and on the border yellowish-brown. The central pair of tailfeathers are dull crimson on outer webs.  The center of forehead, the crown of head and the neck are ashy-brown with purplish- black sheen on feathers of forehead and crown. Lore, line of feathers over eyes, sides of face, ear coverts and undersurface are rich crimson, with white spots on some feathers on the sides of breast. The center of lower breast, abdomen and undertail coverts are black. The beak is red and the base of lower mandible whitish. Legs and feer are yellow. The colour of female is general duller than the male and the male show more olive brown. Also differs from male in having the forehead and crown ashy-brown alike the head. Clearly to see is that the sides of face and throat are much duller and the foreneck and breast are ashy-brown with spotted white on sides. The center of lower breast and abdomen are light brown, getting mildly darker on the undertail coverts. The Crimson Finch was nicknamed “Blood Finch” due to the mainly blood red colouration of the plumage. It often was wrongly defendanted of being a "killer" in captivity. But this species is aggresive than any other Australian grass finches and drive out bigger birds, such as doves and parakeets. Two subspecies are recognized: - Neochmia phaeton phaeton                                      (as described above) - Neochmia phaeton albiventer with the   special characteristics of white undertail   coverts and a white abdomen. Number of eggs: 5 - 8 Incubation period:  .. days Nestlings leaving nest after 20 - 21 days