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Species Guide
A photo of a Plum-headed Finch (Aidemosyne modesta), male
Plum-headed Finch, Male

Plum-headed Finch

Aidemosyne modesta

The Plum-headed Finch, known scientifically as Aidemosyne modesta and colloquially as the Cherry Finch, is a species of estrildid finch endemic to Australia. This modestly adorned bird, with its understated brown tones, is a study in avian elegance. The male is distinguished by a rust-colored bib and frontal stain, which may exhibit a vibrant purple-red hue, while the female's coloring is more subdued, with less pronounced striping and a predominance of brown over red.

Identification Tips

Adults measure approximately 15 cm in length and possess a robust build, complete with a stocky beak and elongated tail. The upper body is a deep brown, darkening towards the tail, while the underparts transition from beige to white at the belly's center and undertail. Notable for its zebra-like markings, the bird features white stripes on the eyebrows, neck, chest, hips, and tail, with two rows of white spots on the flight feathers. The beak is black, legs are flesh-colored, and eyes are dark brown.


The Plum-headed Finch thrives in the dry savannah and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland environments within Australia.


This finch has a broad range across Australia, with an estimated global extent of occurrence between 100,000 and 1,000,000 kmΒ².



Breeding season for the Plum-headed Finch varies by region, occurring from September to January in the south and from August to March in the north. The species constructs a laterally compressed, round nest from green grass within dense shrubbery. A clutch typically consists of four to six immaculate white eggs.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed the Plum-headed Finch as Least Concern, indicating a stable population without immediate threats to its survival.

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Plum-headed Finches on Birda

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21 Apr 2024 - 6:59am

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