World's Smallest Birds

Crimson Chat

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Epthianura tricolor

Crimson Chat

The Crimson Chat, also known as the Tricoloured Chat, Saltbush Canary, and Crimson-breasted Nun, is a species of small bird found in Australia.

Crimson Chats have long, thin legs; a pointy, downward curving bill; and a brush-like tipped tongue.

Males are covered in brown feathers, have red crowns and underparts, a black mask around their eyes, and white throats. They are usually more brightly colored than females, specifically during the breeding season in order to attract a mate.

Females and immatures are colored similarly, but with paler markings.

Crimson Chats are usually 4 - 5 inches in length and 10 - 11 grams in weight.

Most calls are soft, metallic twangs "dik it - dik it" or high pitched whistles like "see" or "seet".
When agitated they make a chattering sound a quick "check - check", which is where their name originates.

Feeds on insects and spiders that are on the ground or in shrubs, and they can use their brush-like tongue to extract nectar or take seeds from flowers close to the ground.

They walk more often than they hop and are usually seen on or near the ground.

Found in deserts, semi-arid regions, woodlands, grasslands and coastal shrublands.

The central part of Australia from the west coast to the Great Dividing Range and from the tropics to the south coast.

Both sexes help build a nest in a cup shape, which is located close to the ground. It is usually made with grass, rootlets, hair, feathers and twigs.

The female lays 2 - 5 pink and white, brown-red spotted eggs. Both parents help incubate the eggs for around 2 weeks and feed the young birds once they have hatched until they can fly on their own to find food.

If a predator comes near the nest either parent will fake an injury to distract the creature away from the nest. (Predators include cats, snakes, foxes and larger birds like ravens.)

Crimson Chat infographic


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