Diamond Firetail

The diamond firetail is one of the firetail finch species that inhabit Australia. With fiery red tail feathers and rump, this finch species has been fittingly named as “firetail”. Diamond firetails have prominent, attractive plumage, making them popular in aviculture. They are also well liked as pets. These birds have a direct and low flight with slight undulations.

Diamond Firetail Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae
Genus Stagonopleura
Species S. guttata
Scientific Name
Stagonopleura guttata
Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetail Finch Quick Information
Other Names Spotted sided finch, diamond sparrows, Java sparrows
Size 10-13 cm (4-5 inches) in length
Weight 17 g (0.6 oz)
Wingspan 26 cm (10.24 inches)
Plumage Color Ash brown upper plumage except for the red rump and the silver-grey neck, forehead, and crown; white plumage below except for a black band spanning the upper chest.
Call A plaintive, nasal, drawn-out “twoo-hee” and low-pitched, raspy song.
Reproductive maturity 9 months
Clutch 4-6 eggs
Brooding time 14-15 days
Fledging 23 days of age
First molt Starts when 4 weeks old and ends around 12 weeks
Lifespan 5-7 years in the wild, 10 years in captivity
Distribution Southeastern Australia including central Queensland, Kangaroo Island, and the Eyre Peninsula.
Habitat Open grassy woodlands, farmlands, and grasslands having scattered trees.
Diet Ripe and partly ripe fruits together with their seeds. Sometimes eat insects and the larvae.
IUCN Conservation Status Near Threatened

Mutations

A variation of the diamond firetail, called the yellow diamond, features a yellowish-orange tail in place of the normal fiery red tail. There are other mutations including the pied diamond (have splashes of white), the fawn diamond (variation is sex-linked), and the white diamond (usually not long-lived).

Diamond Firetail Pictures

Diamond Firetail Pictures

Pet Care

Diamond firetails, as pets, are not ideally suited for the inexperienced keepers as they are hard to breed.

Cage Setup

Wired cages having measurements of 6 feet X 3.3 feet are suitable for a breeding pair of diamond firetails. Smaller cages should be strictly avoided because these birds may be stressed out in confined spaces. At different heights of the cage, place some bars horizontally to provide the bird with resting and perching spots.

Diamond Firetail Cage

Diamond Firetail Cage

Nest

Diamond firetails favor nestboxes that help them to hide and roost at night. They may accept large wire baskets, wire cylinders, half-open nest boxes, logs, gourds, and wickers for nesting. Others may like to construct their nests with feathers, tissue paper, twigs, plant matter, fur, strings, cotton wool, sisal, dried grasses, shredded paper, and coco fiber.

Diamond Firetail Nest

Diamond Firetail Nest

Temperature

Ambient temperatures are needed in aviaries and a heat source should be provided when the temperature goes below 12 degree Celsius.

Temperament

The diamond firetail finches are bold and assertive. With variable aggressiveness in individuals, the species have an unpredictable temperament. While breeding, these birds tend to become aggressive especially towards the other smaller Australian finch species like the owl finches and zebra finches. Therefore, diamond firetail finches should be caged with equal-sized finches including the cutthroats, golden song sparrows, Aberdeen, Java, and the chestnut.

Diamond Firetail Pictures

Diamond Firetail Pictures

Diamond Firetail Photos

Diamond Firetail Photos

Food: What do diamond firetail finches eat

The birds are generally provided with chickweed, spinach, lettuce, spray millet, sprouted seeds, broccoli tops, egg food, carrot tops, hulled oats, small cockroaches, crickets, and mealworms. These pet birds also feed on commercial finch mixes.

Exercise

These birds should be provided with large flight cages that give them the opportunity to fly every day so that they can boost their immune system and improve their productivity.

Diamond Firetail Finch

Diamond Firetail Finch

Diamond Firetail Images

Diamond Firetail Images

Bathing

These birds should be provided with a shallow container of water inside the cage so that they can bathe regularly.

Health Problems

Diamond firetail finches are prone to parasitic and fungal infections, as they like to spend lots of time feeding on the ground. These birds should not be permitted to feed on damp floors as they suffer from coccidian problems. Therefore, strict coccidial and worming program is required.

Diamond Firetail Price

A fairly inexpensive bird, you can buy a diamond firetail finch for around $120-$200, depending on whether the bird is a pure one, or comes with a color mutation.

Interesting Facts

  • The male diamond firetails perform a mating call with a piece of dried grass in their beak while jumping up and down.
  • If they remain inactive for a long time, they can accumulate fat and become obese.
  • Diamond firetails consume water by sucking.
  • This bird species is threatened by predators including the pied currawong, hawks, eagles, and feral cats.

References:

http://www.finchinfo.com/birds/finches/species/diamond_firetail_finch.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_firetail

http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Stagonopleura-guttata

http://australianfinches.com/FinchVarieties/AustralianFinches/DiamondFiretail.aspx

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10768

http://www.cliftonfinchaviaries.org/fsa/diamond/diamond.htm

http://beautyofbirds.com/diamondfiretailfinchesbreeding.html

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