Critical diet and habitat for endangered Star Finch during early wet season Garnett S.T., Clarkson J.R., Felton A., Harrington G.N. and Freeman A.N.D. (2005) "Habitat and diet of the Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda clarescens) in the early wet season at Princess Charlotte Bay, Cape York Peninsula, Australia" Emu, 105, pp.81-85.This study examined the habitat and diet of the endangered Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda clarescens) in the early wet season on Cape York Peninsula.Surveys found Star Finches in only two grassland vegetation types. Most sightings were on burnt islands of grass and saltbush on tidal saltpans, where birds were feeding on the seeds of the annual grass Xerochloa imberbis. Some individuals were also found among tall perennial grasses further inland where they fed on the first seed production of the new wet season.The authors conclude that the grass 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.