Crimson Chat

Did you know?

Crimson Chat, one or both parents will fake an injury on the ground in a distraction display to draw the predator away. It is also known as a 'rodent-run'.

Calls
High-pitched 'see', soft 'dik-it, dik-it' or brisk 'check check'.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
11cm
Maximum Size: 
13cm
Average size: 
12cm
Average weight: 
11g
Breeding season: 
July to December
Clutch Size: 
2 to 4 eggs, usually 3
Incubation: 
14 days
Nestling Period: 
14 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
SA: 
VIC: 
WA: 
Associated Plants
Plants associated with this species
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
449
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Crimson Chat is a small bird with a short decurved (downward curving) bill. Adult males are dark brown above, with a brilliant red crown, breast and rump, a black mask around the eye and white throat. Adult females and juveniles are much paler, brown above, with a white throat and pinkish below. Chats, unlike most small birds, walk rather than hop, and are most often seen on or near the ground.

Similar species: 

Male Red-capped RobinsPetroica goodenovii, are quite similar to the male Crimson Chat, but have a black rather than white throat, a dark eye, a plumper body and prominent white wing-marks. The Crimson Chat's bill is also longer and not as thick as the Red-capped Robin's.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

Crimson Chats are endemic to Australia, found from west of the Great Dividing Range to the coast of Western and South Australia.

Habitat: 

Crimson Chats are found in semi-arid and arid regions mainly dominated by open shrublands, dunes, plains or grasslands.

Seasonal movements: 

Generally, Crimson Chats are winter visitors to northern Australia and summer visitors to southern Australia. However, in places of unpredictable rainfall they are nomadic, following recent rainfalls.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Crimson Chats feed mostly on insects. They mainly feed on the ground or close to it. However, they do possess the brush-tipped tongue common to their family (Meliphagidae) and they have been recorded taking nectar or insects from flowers of shrubs and trees.

Breeding: 

Crimson Chats will breed outside their regular season if conditions allow. They build a small, round, cup-shaped nest constructed of grass, twigs or plant stems in low shrubs close to the ground. The Crimson Chat sometimes nests communally or with other species. The young are fed and guarded by both parents.

Living with us

The young of the Crimson Chat are sometimes killed by cats and foxes and are at particular risk while still in the nest, as the nest is usually close to the ground.

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