Diamond Firetail

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Habitat: Heathland, Woodland, Grassland


Diamond Firetails are found in open grassy woodland, heath and farmland or grassland with scattered trees.


To safeguard their eggs and nestlings, Diamond Firetails are often recorded building their nests into the base of the large stick-nest of a bird of prey such as a Whistling Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel or a Square-tailed Kite. One nest of a Whistling Kite contained nine Diamond Firetail nests! Others choose to build their nests among the prickly foliage of shrubs. Such as hakeas, rose bushes, boxthorn and the sharp-sounding Sea Urchin Hakea, (a deterrent against all but the most thick-skinned predators). Mostly resident or sedentary with some local movements.


Diamond Firetails feed on the ground and generally eat ripe or partially ripe seeds. They occasionally eat insects and their larvae.


During courtship, the male Diamond Firetail holds a long piece of green grass in his bill, then flies to a branch where he sits near the female and begins to bob up and down. When she approaches, he twists his neck around and opens his bill just like young begging for food. The Diamond Firetail builds a nest with green grass blades and stems and lines it with fine grasses and feathers. The nest can be found in trees and shrubs with dense foliage, sometimes in the base of a hawk’s nest. The nest is built by both partners but only the female does the weaving. Both partners incubate the eggs (12 days) and care for the young. The nestling period is 22 days. Usually, only one clutch is laid per season, with clutch size being 5 to 6 eggs. Breeding season is from August to January.