Francis Duggan


Red Browed Firetails


One can't mistake them for their scratchy song
To small seed eating family of birds they belong
Some call them red browed finches others the red browed firetails
And the females hard to distinguish from the males.

With red bill and brows and neck and unders gray
And red rump, dark tail and greenish wings I see them every day
They perch on fence wire near where paddocks are
And to get their food they don't have to fly far.

They live in small flocks on a diet of seeds
And I see them often amongst grasses and weeds
Of the human kind they do seem rather shy
And from the paddock to the fence they fly.

On sapling tree or creeper they build their globe nest of dried grass or hay
Where they lay up to six eggs of white to gray
And their nests hard to find and well hidden away
From currawong and other birds of prey.

Red browed firetails or finches birds I often see
On paddock fence wire or on branch of tree
Of human kind they have a healthy fear
And they fly away if to them you come near.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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