Star finch

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Star finch
Neochmia ruficauda.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Neochmia
Species: N. ruficauda
Binomial name
Neochmia ruficauda
(Gould, 1837)

The star finch (Neochmia ruficauda) is a species of estrildid finch found in Australia. It inhabits dry grassland and dry savannah habitats.


It has three subspecies:


The star finch is still common in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, however is rare and endangered in Queensland and is extinct in the southern part of that state. Its habitat is threatened by overgrazing of grasslands, removing essential cover for their survival as well as sources of food and water. Selective grazing of perennials during the wet season may also remove grasses that are needed for survival during the dry season. Burning of grassland during the dry season may reduce the fallen seed during the wet season and thus reduce the food supply needed by the star finch. This species is also threatened by the cage-bird trade.[2]


The star finch is a common aviary bird. This species has mutations such as the yellow and cinnamon varieties.[3]

Yellow/mango faced subspecies are also called Buddha star finches because the colour is similar to the buddhist monk kutten.


Origin and phylogeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.[4] Estrildinae may have originated in India and dispersed thereafter (towards Africa and Pacific Ocean habitats).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Neochmia ruficauda". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ BirdLife Species Factsheet
  3. ^
  4. ^ Arnaiz-Villena, A; Ruiz-del-Valle V; Gomez-Prieto P; Reguera R; Parga-Lozano C; Serrano-Vela I (2009). "Estrildinae Finches (Aves, Passeriformes) from Africa, South Asia and Australia: a Molecular Phylogeographic Study" (PDF). The Open Ornithology Journal. 2: 29–36. doi:10.2174/1874453200902010029. 

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