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24

Diamond Firetail

(Stagonopleura guttata)
Alternate name(s): "Firetail Finch", "Diamond Finch", "Spotted-sided Finch", "Beautiful Firetail Finch"*; misnomer: "Diamond Sparrow"
Size: 12-13 cm; wing span 26 cm
Weight: 17 g (average)
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Diamond Firetail at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

Frontal view of a Diamond Firetail hiding in the shade of a tree
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, October 2008]

Near-frontal view of a Diamond Firetail in better light conditions (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Near-lateral view of a Diamond Firetail on the ground (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Near Dubbo, NSW, July 2011]

Near-lateral view of a Diamond Firetail (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, April 2014]

Lateral view of a Diamond Firetail (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Tenterfield, NSW, February 2013]

Lateral view of a Diamond Firetail
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Near-dorsal view of a Diamond Firetail (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a Diamond Firetail, with a clear indication of how the species received its name
[Near Coonabarabran, NSW, September 2006]

This Diamond Firetail is scratching itself, making the bright-red rump even more conspicuously visible (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

While landing on the barbed wire, this Diamond Firetail has its tail fanned for lift (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Adult, left, with probably sub-adult Diamond Firetail, front right; note the grey breast ring, rather than the adult's black one (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Bindi, East Gippsland, VIC, February 2017]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

The dark bill and the inconspicuous colour pattern indicate that the bird shown here is a very young Diamond Firetail
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2009]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Oct - Jan Eggs: 4 - 6 Incubation period: 14 - 15 days Fledging age: 23 days

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Bottle-shaped dome Material: Grass with feather lining Height above ground <10 m

Additional information

A. Morris reports that Diamond Firetails like to take advantage of the protection offered by nesting under a Wedge-tailed Eagle or Whistling Kite nest. There is now a separate page about various bird species nesting under the umbrella of a stronger, protective species.

Diamond Firetails nesting low in a casuarina tree; four adults were observed around this nest (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2015]

Closer look at one Diamond Firetail outside its nest (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2015]

One curious Diamond Firetail chick checking the world outside (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2015]

Mistletoe with a Diamond Firetail's nest at its base, about 15 m above ground, high up in a eucalypt tree
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2008]

Note that it is unusual for a small bird, such as a finch, to have its nest that high. Usually small birds tend to nest in dense, inaccessible areas closer to the ground - even the 10 m listed in the table above are very high for a bird the size of a finch.

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 18 x 13 mm Colour: White Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive/sedentary Elementary unit: Small fLock

All species of finches known to us are highly sociable.

Male Diamond Firetail bringing green grass to its partner as part of his courtship display
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2008]

"Stand-off" between a Diamond Firetail and a Willie Wagtail (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like all other finches known to us, Diamond Firetails feed on seeds.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

diafire_20141231.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.