Diamond Firetail

Stagonopleura guttata

The Diamond Firetail is a species of estrildid finch that is endemic to Australia.
Diamond Firetail  Diamond Firetail,Stagonopleura guttata

Appearance

The Diamond Firetail is a finch that has a fiery red bill, eyes, and rump. Just below the throat, it has a thick black band that extends horizontally until it reaches the lower part of the wings which are also black with white spots. There is also a black eye band that starts at the beak and ends right at the eye. The bird's tail is also black. The rest of the wings are a slightly tan, light brown color. Its head and back is light gray and its belly and chin are white. The color of the egg is also white. This bird is considered one of the smallest of the finches.

Distribution

The finch is found in eastern Australia from the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, to south-eastern Queensland, often on the slopes of the Great Dividing Range. The bird lives in eucalypt forest and woodland, mallee country, farmland and grassland.

Status

The conservation status of the finch has been evaluated as Near Threatened. The bird's habitat has been threatened by alteration of vegetation structure caused by over-grazing, weed invasion, salinisation and other flow-on processes. This loss of main food plants and habitat results in competition with invasive species, and increased predation.

Habitat

The finch is found in eastern Australia from the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, to south-eastern Queensland, often on the slopes of the Great Dividing Range. The bird lives in eucalypt forest and woodland, mallee country, farmland and grassland.

Reproduction

The nest is put together by both the male and the female, but only the female does the weaving. They like creating their own nests, not having one made for them. They use different materials such as coconut fibers, shredded paper, dried grass, and feathers. Diamond Firetails have been known to breed from September to the end of April and August to January in the wild. As mentioned earlier, the male gets the female's attention by holding a piece of dead grass in his beak while singing and bobbing up and down. They normally breed in the privacy of the nest or somewhere secluded and close to the ground. After breeding, the female egg can lay about 4 to 6 eggs and incubates them along with the male for 14 days. About 21 days after hatching, they will leave the nest and just about 21 days after that, they are weaned and become independent. Both the male and the female feed the young. Female Diamond Firetails can start breeding after 9 to 12 months of life and are best when paired at a young age. Their life span is usually between 5 to 7 years.

Food

In the wild, they eat ripe or partially ripe fruits and their seeds. They also eat some insects and their larvae. The birds spend a significant amount of time on the ground finding seeds and insects.

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyEstrildidae
GenusStagonopleura
SpeciesS. guttata