Finch Diamond Firetail
Description: Diamond Firetail Finches (Stagonopleura guttata) originate from Australia and bond strongly with mated pairs and often remain together for life. Beyond the mating season, these finches form loose groups of up to 30 birds. Pairs breed in a colony fashion.
Diamond Firetail finches display upper plumage colors of ash brown except for the silver-grey crown, forehead and neck, and the red rump. Their lower plumage feathering is white except for the black band across the upper chest which then continues down their side with some distinctive white spotting. The area between the eyes and the bill are black and their throat is white.
Gender: Males and females look alike and are generally difficult to sex, except for some slight differences that may or may not be discernible (noticeable):
- the female has a narrower "bib" and paler lores (area between the eyes and the beak);
- the female may be a smaller size;
- the head of a male may also be squarer than that of a female and broader across the top;
- the male's beak and eye rings are a deeper red; and
- the tail is black in the male and brownish-black in the female.
- Females develop a pinker beak when they are 3 - 4 years of age
A Diamond Firetail finch life span is usually between 5 to 7 years, but well-cared-for captive birds can expect to live up to 10 years.
Size: Length: 4-5" (10 - 13 cm) Weight: 0.6 oz (17 g)
Breeding: They reach breeding age when they are about 9 - 12 months old. Males generally gather nest materials and females do all the weaving. A clutch consists of 4 - 6 eggs (sometimes as many as 9) which are incubated for about 12 - 15 days to hatching. Both parents share the incubation during the day. They continue to be fed and cared for by their parents for some time after fledging. Most are weaned and independent by the time they are about 42 - 44 days old.
Diamond Firetails prefer to roost in a nest at night, and should always have nesting material available to build roosting structures. Because they enjoy hopping on the ground, their enclosure should include a large, open floor space. This species drinks water by sucking.
* courtesy of beautyofbirds.com
Diet: Green food (e.g. dandelion), millet, live food or freeze-dried mealworms, millet, panicum, berries and fruits