Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Orange Chat
Ephthianura aurifrons
(Viewing 4 of 6 photos)

Essentially birds of the vast inland plains, Orange Chats are mainly found in areas of low saltbush or samphire, often in the vicinity of water. Low growing vegetation surrounding inland lakes is a favoured habitat. Like the Crimson Chat they are a desert nomad in most places, wandering around in search of the good times but in smaller flocks, rarely more than 50 in number. However, in some districts they appear to be present the year round, forsaking only their breeding territories which are usually established again in late winter sometimes in much the same area year after year.

Like many birds of the inland, they seek out country which has had above average rainfall to breed and in some exceptional seasons are known to irrupt in large numbers following successful breeding. In normal seasons the lush vegetation that grows alongside roadside drains has become suitable nesting habitat.

Like Crimson Chats, male Orange Chats adopt a bright breeding plumage and moult into a duller looking garb the following year. It is possible to confuse Orange Chats with both Yellow Chats or Gibberbirds, but the key field mark are the red eyes of Orange Chats - the others have pale eyes.

Photo: 450001

450001 ... Orange Chat, male

Photo: 450201

450201 ... Orange Chat, male breeding plumage.

Photo: 450202

450202 ... Orange Chat, female, breeding plumage.

Photo: 450203

450203 ... Orange Chat

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