IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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The Crimson Finch (white-bellied) is a small bird that measures about 13 cm long, has a wing-span of about 16 or 17 cm, and a mass of about eight to 10 g. The plumage of the adults differs between the sexes. The adult males have a bright red face, bill, throat and breast, and have bright red flanks that have a series of white spots running along them. They have greyish-brown colouring on the crown and back of the head, the rear and sides of the neck, the back and shoulders, and the upper surfaces of the wings. The brownish-grey colouring on the back and shoulders, and on the upper surfaces of the wings, is suffused with red. They have white colouring on the under surfaces of the wings, a white to cream belly, and white to cream thighs and undertail coverts; the tail itself is mainly red above, with darker centres to the feathers, and brown below, with red trim. Their irises vary in colour from red to brownish, and they have brownish legs and feet (Higgins et al. 2006). The adult females have a bright red face, but differ from the adult males in having a brownish-grey breast, brown flanks (that retain the white spotting of the male), and brown thighs and uppertail coverts. They have paler, greyish-brown colouring on the crown and back of the head, the rear and sides of the neck, the back and shoulders, and the upper surfaces of the wings, and the red suffusion on the back and shoulders, and on the upper surfaces of the wings, is paler and weaker than in the adult males. The appearance is otherwise similar to that of adult males (Higgins et al. 2006). Juvenile birds can be distinguished from the adults. The most obvious differences are the predominantly brown plumage (including brown plumage on the face), the duller and less extensive suffusion of red, the dark brown or greyish-black bill, and the absence of the white spots on the flanks (Higgins et al. 2006 ). The Crimson Finch (white-bellied) occurs in pairs, small groups and, following the breeding season, often in loose flocks of 40 to 60 birds (Garnett & Bredl 1985; Todd 2006, pers. comm.)

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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