Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Crimson Chat
Ephthianura tricolor
(Viewing 4 of 9 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples The Crimson Chat is one of our classic arid-zone nomads. Normally found in the dry savannahs and deserts of the inland, during extremes of climate they occasionally irrupt into more open country nearer the coast.

In southern Australia Crimson Chats are migratory and in places that have experienced good winter rains they arrive in late winter and settle down to breed. On migration they travel in flocks and when breeding, may form loose colonies, each pair maintaining a small territory around the nest. They feed mainly on the ground where they busily search for arthropods, occasionally reaching into flowers on low-growing shrubs for nectar for which their brush-tipped tongues are ideally adapted.

The brilliant crimson colour of the males is a breeding plumage only adopted in summer - on their return to northern Australia the following year, they moult again into a plainer brown winter plumage.

Photo: 449001

449001 ... Crimson Chat, male.

Photo: 449002

449002 ... Crimson Chat male at nest

Photo: 449202

449202 ... Crimson Chat, male

Photo: 449203-D

449203-D ... Crimson Chat, female.

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