Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Painted Finch (Emblema pictum)


French: Diamant peint German: Maleramadine Spanish: Diamante pintado

Emblema picta


, 1842,

Depuch Island, Western Australia




Arid and semi-arid country (mainly N of Tropic of Capricorn) discontinuously in Western Australia (mainly Kimberley Division and Pilbara Region S to Carnarvon), Northern Territory (mainly Tennant Creek S to Uluru), W Queensland (E to Mt Isa and Longreach) and South Australia (mainly around L Eyre, L Torrens and L Frome, and Flinders Ranges); casual breeding in New South Wales#R.

Descriptive notes

11 cm; 9·6-11·5 g. Male has red forehead and face, brown rear ear-­coverts; crown to back and upperwing brown, rump and uppertail-coverts red, tail blackish-brown some... read more


Call a loud, harsh "trut, chek-chek", and "ced up, cheddy-up". Song a wheezy chattering "che-che-... read more


Arid and semi-arid areas, stone deserts, gorges, gulleys and rocky hills with scrub acacia (... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds of grasses, mainly spinifex grass; occasionally fruit, and blades of grass; in captivity, takes insects as a large part of diet.... read more


Breeds at almost any time of year, eggs recorded in all months except Nov–Dec; in Western Australia, breeds mainly Apr and Jul in... read more


Resident; in years of exceptional inland rain, may spread hundreds of kilometres S of usual range.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Considered to vary from locally fairly common to uncommon; widespread in inland and other arid and semi-arid areas. Occasional records well outside... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & de Juana, E. (2019). Painted Finch (Emblema pictum). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).