Australian Chats | Crimson Chat > perched | water ◦

The Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor) is a songbird of the arid inland of Australia, that can often be seen around local water sources. Not to be missed, it is a striking looking bird recognised for a crimson crown, belly and rump. It has a white throat-patch, black mask and upperparts.

A small bird with a short decurved (downward curving) bill, it is the breeding male Crimson Chat that has the most striking red plumage. The male bird also has a dark brown to grey back and above, blackish wings and narrow pale wingbars, that contrast with the brilliant red crown, breast and rump. The male has a black mask around the eye and white throat.

During periods of drought and when there is less food around, they are known to move closer to the coast where food is available. They forage on the fruit from saltbush, insects and other invertebrates.

Usually seen in small groups moving along the ground in open areas. Like most chats, they seem to prefer to walk rather than hop. In the presence of water, they can be seen bathing by themselves and with each other, and sometimes with other bird species.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Meliphagidae
  • Genus: Epthianura
  • Species: E. tricolor
  • Binomial name: Epthianura tricolor