Orange Chat

Did you know?

Orange Chats sometimes nest three or more times in a year, depending on seasonal conditions, and do not breed at all in times of drought. 

High pitched metallic rasp. Single chirp uttered in flight.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
Minimum Size: 
Maximum Size: 
Average size: 
Average weight: 
Breeding season: 
August to November
Clutch Size: 
10 days
12 days
Nestling Period: 
10 days
Conservation Status
Associated Plants
Plants associated with this species
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Atlas Number: 
What does it look like?

 An Orange Chat is a distinctive small ground bird with a short slender straight bill,  a short square-ended tail and red to orange brown eyes.. The male is bright orange with a black face and throat and a rich orange rump. The female is a pale yellowish grey with a pale orange rump. Immature birds are similar in colour to female birds. 

Gregarious and mobile, Orange Chats are typically seen in small parties or loose flocks, rarely numbering more than 50 birds. They often form mixed flocks with Crimson and White-fronted Chats or near flocks of Zebra Finches.

Similar species: 

Orange Chats are very similar in size and shape to Crimson and Yellow Chats but the adult male is very distinctive with it's orange-yellow plumage and black throat patch. Adults and immatures of both sexes are also readily distinguished from Crimson and Yellow Chats by their much darker red-brown or orange-red (not whitish) iris.  Gibberbirds are similar to female Orange Chats but are far less common.

Where does it live?

Orange Chats are highly nomadic within the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia that they inhabit but are a common resident on many inland samphire flats.  They are found mainly in the interior with some sightings in the northern tropics, and very occasionally they reach the coastal areas of South and Western Australia. They are not found in Tasmania.


Orange chats mainly inhabit low, treeless shrublands dominated by saltbush, bluebush or samphire, with either open or continuous shrub cover. These are often sparsely vegetated low-lying saline environments, such as saltpans, saltlakes and gibber plains.

Seasonal movements: 

The Orange Chat is nomadic but moves around irregularly. These movements are often determined by weather conditions, which will affect the availability of food in an area. During droughts or dry spells the Orange Chat will be absent, or nearly so, from normal habitats and will sometimes be recorded towards the very edge of their usual range.

What does it do?

Orange Chats are usually seen walking and feeding on the ground or perched briefly atop low bushes or sometimes in low trees where they forage. They eat invertebrates, mainly insects and spiders.


Orange chats nest in samphire or saltbush shrubland, around saltlakes and occasionally on grass flats or gibber plains. Their nests are neat cup-shaped structures made from twigs, plant stems, grass or roots and lined with fine grass, flower stems, feathers or fur. Nests are mainly built by the females, while the males defend both territory and female birds. Both parents feed the nestlings.   

 and   @birdsinbackyards
                 Subscribe to me on YouTube