Diamond Firetail

Did you know?

During courtship, the male Diamond Firetail holds a long piece of green grass in his bill, then flies to a branch where he sits near the female and begins to bob up and down. When she approaches, he twists his neck around and opens his bill just like young begging for food.

Calls
Often call from dead branches with a mournful double whistle 'twooo-hee'.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
10cm
Maximum Size: 
13cm
Average size: 
12cm
Average weight: 
17g
Breeding season: 
August to January
Clutch Size: 
5 to 6
Incubation: 
12 days
Nestling Period: 
22 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
QLD: 
VIC: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
652
What does it look like?
Description: 

 

The Diamond Firetail is a small bird sometimes described as one of the most stunningly coloured birds of the finch family. The top of its body is ash brown with crown, forehead and neck grey. The under feathers are white with a crimson rump. There is a black band across its neck which continues down the flank to be dotted with white. The bill and eye ring are coral, and the legs and feet are dark grey. The female is similar to the male although sometimes smaller. The juvenile Diamond Firetail has a black bill and is duller in colour. They fly low and flocks travel in long lines. This species may also be called the Diamond Finch or Java Sparrow.

Similar species: 

 

The Diamond Firetail is very distinctive, being larger and more heavily built than the Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis, and slightly smaller and shorter-tailed than the much duller House Sparrow,Passer domesticus.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

 

The Diamond Firetail is endemic to south-eastern Australia, ranging from Carnarvon Ranges in Queensland to the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Habitat: 

 

Diamond Firetails are found in open grassy woodland, heath and farmland or grassland with scattered trees.

Seasonal movements: 

 

Mostly resident or sedentary with some local movements.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

 

Diamond Firetails feed on the ground and generally eat ripe or partially ripe seeds and can be seen hopping around on the ground. They occasionally eat insects and their larvae.

Breeding: 

 

The Diamond Firetail builds a nest with green grass blades and stems and lines it with fine grasses and feathers. The nest can be found in trees and shrubs with dense foliage and has sometimes been known to build in the base of a hawk's nest. The nest is built by both partners but only the female does the weaving. Both partners incubate the eggs and care for the young. Usually only one clutch is laid per season.

Living with us

 

Diamond Firetails have been adversely affected by clearing for agriculture or urban development as well as predation of eggs and nestlings by increased populations of native predators such as the Pied Currawong. They are listed as Vulnerable in New South Wales.

Subscribe to me on YouTube