Surveys for the endangered Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda clarescens (Hartert)) were conducted in the early wet season on Cape York Peninsula. We found Star Finches in only two grassland vegetation types. Most sightings were on unburnt islands of grass and saltbush on tidal saltpans where the birds were feeding solely on the seeds of the annual grass Xerochloa imberbis R.Br. Some individuals were also found among tall perennial grasses further inland where they fed on the first seed production of the new wet season. Xerochloa imberbis is probably a critical food source and saltpans a critical habitat for survival of this population of Star Finches during the early wet season. � Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union 2005.
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|Published - 2005