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|
|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|
|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|
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 firetails, as pets, are not ideally suited for the inexperienced keepers as they are hard to breed.
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 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.
Ambient temperatures are needed in aviaries and a heat source should be provided when the temperature goes below 12 degree Celsius.
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.
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.
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.
These birds should be provided with a shallow container of water inside the cage so that they can bathe regularly.
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.
- 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.