Finches of Far North Queensland

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Finches of Far North Queensland
From: "Michael J Hunter" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 21:18:22 +1100
  Hi All,
  Of the nine native finches of FNQ, three, namely the Crimson, Masked and
Red-browed, have local races with particularly attractive colours.
  The back and mantle of Red-browed Finches from about Cooktown north are
bright golden and glow in the sun. The scarlet browline becomes wider
behind, and neck and throat are off-white rather than grey, altogether a
brighter bird than the southern races, and it is smaller, thus the
subspecific name of  "minor".
  We saw a flock of about twenty behind the mangroves at Portland Roads last
week, quite a sight.
  The Cape York form "leucotis" of the Masked Finch is a richer brown than
the  WA/NT race, and has white cheeks which accent the black face and yellow
bill.. Seen near Lotusbird Lodge with Black-throated Finches (black-rumped
race) in open woodland having been flushed from seeding grass on the
   The beautiful "evangeline" is a white-bellied form of the Crimson Finch
rather than the black-bellied, the latter occurring in WA/NT and
north-eastern Qld south of Lakefield N.P.We mistakenly looked for
evangelinae at the crocodile farm south of Cairns, finding
the black-bellied instead.
  The other six finches in FNQ are Double-barred Finch (white rumped race),
yellow-bellied "clarescens" race of the Star Finch, Chestnut-breasted
Mannikin, Gouldian, and Blue-faced Parrot finch. Other than the Blue-faced,
seen on Mt. Lewis, these are variously more easily seen in the Top End or
around Kunnunurra, or even as far south as Sydney.

Michael Hunter
Mulgoa Valley
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge

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