The stunning looking Orange Chat (Epthianura aurifrons), is a brightly yellow-orange coloured small ground song bird, endemic to Australia. A desert nomad species with red colour eyes, they can be found in the drier inland regions, areas of samphire and saltbush. During the breeding season, they often seek areas where there is above average rainfall. They are known to breed throughout the year, depending on favourable conditions.

Males often have the appearance of a pot-bellied shape, thin legs, a black mask, short slender straight bill and a brush-tipped tongue.

It is the male bird of the species who feathers are a deep, yellow with orange overtones, in particularly on the crown and breast. The males’ lores and throat are black, the lore being the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird’s head. Their rump is a golden orange, with a tail that is finely tipped with white. The non-breeding male colours are more muted.

The female chat of the species are a paler yellow, and do not have the black mask, although they have a pale yellow eyebrow, whitish throat and mottled grey-brown streaking on the breast. The underparts that are soft fawny yellow.

The female Orange Chat will build a small neat cup shape nest, often located close to the ground. The nest is constructed from dry grass and plant material, twigs, hair, feathers, wool.

The female lays between 3-4 eggs that are whitish, smooth, with brown, red, black and grey spots. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the young until they can fly and forage for themselves.

Orange Chats diet consist mainly of invertebrates, including insects such as ants, bees, wasps, beetles, caterpillars and grasshoppers, as well as spiders. They can be seen often walking, rather then hopping and are seen eating seeds.

The Orange Chats are sometimes confused with the Yellow Chats or the Gibberbirds. The key difference are that the Orange Chats have red eyes, compare to the other species that have pale eyes.

Common name
Orange-breasted Chat, Orange-fronted Chat, Golden-fronted Chat, Bush Chat, Saltbush Canary, Bush Chat.

Check out our images of the Orange Chat in the Alice Springs Desert Park.

Images © Dorothy L


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