Introducing an incredibly unique bird that bears a striking resemblance to a festive angel, complete with fiery flames billowing from beneath its robes. Behold the magnificent Silver Diamond Firetail.
The bird in question belongs to the species known as daond firetail (Stagonopleura guttata). Only skilled breeders can successfully produce this particular variant with its almost white feathers, achieved by selecting parent birds that carry recessive genes. The daond firetail finch is characterized by its striking red bill, eyes, and rump, as well as a thick black band just below its throat that extends horizontally towards its black wings adorned with white spots.
Indigenous to the southeastern region of Australia, firetail finches inhabit an area stretching from Queensland’s Carnarvon Ranges to South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. These birds can grow up to 10-12 cm in length and weigh a hefty 17 grams – a stark contrast to their miniature counterpart, the emu-wren, which weighs just 4 grams. The firetail finch is one of three species of its kind, all of which are endemic to Australia.
The red-eared firetail and the beautiful firetail are the other two types of firetail species. The former is located in southwestern Australia, while the latter is native to the southeastern region of the country. The beautiful firetail can be found from Newcastle to Kangaroo Island and is also prevalent in Tasmania, making it the sole finch species on the island. Despite its unoriginal name, this bird is easily recognizable due to its plump body, wide red beak, sky blue-rimmed eyes, and vibrant crimson tail. This striking species primarily inhabits coastal scrublands and forests and tends to stay close to water bodies. When they do find water, these birds are quite vocal, making them easier to locate.
Although the firetail finches in Australia are not yet considered endangered, their population is decreasing due to various factors such as loss of habitat, predation by feral cats, and competition with other birds like the pied currawong. However, there is some hope as efforts are being made to prevent their numbers from reaching a critical low.
As we bid adieu, let’s take one last glimpse of these stunning finches that have captured our attention. Their beauty is simply mesmerizing!