Backyard Buddies
Crimson Chat

Photo: Dan Armbrust

Crimson Chat

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The Crimson Chat is part of a subfamily of Epthianuridae, which include chats and honeyeaters. They are known for their long, thin bills that are designed for finding insects and spiders.

Look for the Crimson Chat walking more often than hopping on the ground.

Other names for the Crimson Chat include the Tricoloured Chat, Saltbush Canary and the Crimson- breasted Nun.

The incubation period for Crimson Chat eggs is two weeks. During that time, both mum and dad take care of the clutch, which is usually between 2 to 5 pink, white and brown spotted eggs.

These small, ruby-red birds are hard-working and protective parents to their young.

Don’t be surprised if you see a mum or dad Crimson Chat suddenly causing a distraction or faking an injury. This is how they defend their nest when they sense danger. This anti-predator behaviour is known by many names, including rodent-run, deflection display and paratrepsis.

When threatened or upset, their usual soft, chirping call will turn into an agitated, higher pitched chattering, which is where they get their name from.

You can make your garden friendlier for Crimson Chats

You can make sure your garden is a safe place for chats to visit and set up a home. Make sure your pets don’t come to close to the nests.

If you’d like to really tempt the Crimson Chat, plant low lying shrubs and flowering trees and plants in your backyard.

The Crimson Chats are still a bit of a mystery to us when it comes to their migratory patterns, as they change from year to year depending on rainfall.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies— to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The Crimson Chat is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like the Crimson Chat, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes. So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what Crimson Chats do and do not like.

Crimson Chats love:

Small insects – and spiders that make up a large part of their diet. The Crimson Chat will forage on the ground to find their meal.

Nectar – which they get out of flowers using their special, brush-tipped tongue. Crimson Chat favourite plants include the Saltbush, Acacia, Bluebush and the Samphire.

Rain – which they follow and rely on as a sign to begin breeding.

But they don’t like:

Predators - such as ravens, foxes, snakes and some lizards.

Heights – as they are largely land loving birds and prefer keeping close to the ground.

Be a buddy to the Crimson Chat

Try to:


Don’t be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

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