The Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda) is a small brown coloured bird with a blueish-grey head and nape, black throat and narrow black lores and eye-rings. Their long black tail, make them the largest of the Australian finches in overall length. Their belly and sides are a pale almost pinkish-grey. They have a black band across the rump, with the rest being white (the uppertail and undertail coverts) that is notable in flight.

There are two races, one with a orange-red bill known as “hecki” (normally associated in the Northern Territory) and the other race “acuticauda” with a yellow bill (found in Western Australia). Juveniles are duller in colour with a more brownish-grey head and nape and have a dark bill.

They are found in grasslands and grassy woodlands across the north-western region of Australia.

Common name
Longtail, Long-tailed Finch, Blackheart Finch, Shaft-tail Finch, Orange-billed Finch, Orange-billed Grass Finch. Heck’s Longtail, Heck’s Grassfinch is the common name applied to the eastern subspecies Poephila acuticauda hecki (with red beaks), and the nominate subspecies with orange or yellow beaks are referred by the common name for the species.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Estrildidae
  • Genus: Poephila
  • Species: P. acuticauda
  • Binomial name: Poephila acuticauda