A diamond firetail (Stagonopleura guttata) is one of the five finches that are endemic to Australia. These small and beautifully colored songbirds are also known by several other common names in their range, like diamond firetail finch, diamond sparrow, diamond finch, and spot-sided finch. Firetail finches are commonly kept as pet birds because of their striking looks. Largescale habitat destruction since the 1960s has narrowed down their choices, making the population extremely restricted. The transformation of their nesting ground into agricultural farmlands has made the bird population extremely scattered. Intensive growth and development in these areas are the main reasons for their declining population status. However, since the birds have a large nesting range and their population is not decreasing at a substantial speed, they have been listed as the Least Concern.
The birds breed in small, closely packed colonies in the breeding ground. Many birds even prefer to nest in a single tree, but the pairs remain in solitary pairs in the nest. The breeding season varies according to the weather conditions of different regions. Both males and females build a large breeding nest close to the ground. The breeding nest is made up of feathers, branches, grass blades, and lined with grass. To know more facts about the diamond firetail, keep on reading these amazing facts.
A diamond firetail is a type of bird.
The diamond firetail of the Passeriformes order and the Estrildidae family belong to the class Aves, the common class for all birds.
The global population of the diamond firetail is estimated to be 200,000 mature individuals, which approximately equates to 300,000 birds in total. The population of the bird is declining slowly throughout its native range; fortunately, the decline rate is anticipated to be much slower than the rate required to classify the diamond firetail finch Endangered. The birds have been forced to isolate many existing habitats. Other adaptive finches like the red finches have invaded several suitable areas of the firetails, which have put the latter at a disadvantage.
Diamond firetails are a native species of Australia. The finch species are distributed from the Eyre Peninsula in eastern Australia up to ranges of Queensland in southeastern Australia. They mainly occur on the slopes of the Great Dividing Mountain range in Queensland. From there, the diamond firetail finch enters South Australia. Finches also populate the southern parts of Victoria and the areas lying to the west of Kangaroo Island.
The diamond firetails prefer to nest in open forests and grassy plains. They also inhabit agricultural areas and woodlands with scattered trees, farmlands, and scrublands. In the wild, the diamond firetails are observed to nest widely in eucalypt vegetation and in mallee countrysides. They spend most of their time on the ground than flying.
Diamond firetails are social birds that flock with the same species as well as other finch species. The number of members in a diamond firetail flock can range between 5-40 individuals.
The average lifespan of a diamond firetail finch ranges between five to seven years of age. The longevity of the species does not differ much between the captive birds and the wild birds.
The breeding season of the diamond redtail lasts from August to January. The pairs are monogamous in nature. They breed twice a year, once in the spring season and in the autumn season. The male bird performs some courtship displays before they start breeding. The male positions himself near a perched female bird on the branch. It holds a long piece of grass in the bill and lowers the bill by stretching its neck upwards in front of the female bird. The male also puffs up its rump and bobs up and down by stretching its legs and feet. Once the female reciprocates to its low-pitched raspy calls, she will approach the begging male, following which breeding occurs. The female lays four to six eggs in a single clutch. After an incubation period of 14 days, the eggs hatch, and the young chicks come out from it. Both parents take part in incubating the eggs. The young birds molt into adult plumage after 45 days. They start to breed after nine months.
The diamond firetails are classified as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Despite their estimated status, the birds have become nearly rare throughout their existing range in Australia, particularly those areas where intensive human modifications have been registered. They are recognized by many conservation sites and occur in many protected areas.
Unlike the house finch, diamond firetail finches are small birds with stunning colors. Firetails have an ash brown plumage with a pale gray head and dark gray upper wings. The throat and the upper breast consists of white feathers with a black band across its neck. The black band runs horizontally up to the lower part of the wings and is marked by splashes of white spots. The diamond firetails have a fiery red rump, bill, and eyes. Except for the red tail coverts, the rest of the tail is made up of black feathers. The upper part of the diamond firetail wings is light brown in color. The plumage of the young firetail appears slightly grayer than adults, and they have a black bill. The diamond firetail female is a bit smaller than the male.
Diamond firetail finches are one of the cutest and most colorful finches among all the Australian finches.
These birds mainly communicate by vocalizations and calls.
The average length of a diamond firetail is 5 in (12 cm). Their height is unknown. They are similar in size to the Gouldian finch.
The diamond firetails have a strongly undulating flight, but their speed is unknown.
The weight of a diamond firetail is about 0.6 oz (17 g).
The diamond firetail male and female are referred to as cock and hen, respectively.
A baby diamond firetail is called a chick.
Like the purple finch, diamond firetails are carnivorous in nature. They feed on ripe seeds like grass and herb seeds as well as on ripe fruits, carrot tops, and sprouts. The young birds generally eat half-ripe seeds. Sometimes the finch consumes insects, eggs, and larva.
Yes, they are friendly.
The diamond firetail finches are one of the most loved pets among all the Australian finches.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
There are various mutations of the firetail finches. Some of the diamond firetail mutations are pied diamond, yellow diamond, and white diamond firetail. The yellow rump and tail of the yellow diamond make it look like a different species altogether.
The diamond firetail finches produce a unique call that sounds like 'twoo-hee'. The first syllable of the call 'twooo' has a higher pitch, while the pitch lowers when they make the 'hee' sound. The male makes a longer call than the female. The firetail also has a distinct nest call. When they return to the nest, they make a snoring call, and the bird residing in the nest responds to it.
The diamond firetail bird gets its name from the fiery red rump and upper tail. The species also has a striking red bill. They are also known as diamond sparrows as they are the smallest finch.
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