Beautiful Firetail

Beautiful Firetail clasping a plant shoot

What does it look and sound like? The Beautiful Firetail is generally brown-grey, with fine black and white barring and a contrasting crimson rump and bill. Conspicuous black face-mask, pale blue eye-ring, and red conical bill. The wing tips of the male whiten during breeding season and the overall plumage darkens. The female resembles the non-breeding male, but has full barring on the abdomen, whereas the male has a black central patch.

Where does it live? It is found in a broad coastal band through south-eastern Australia, from the lower north coast of NSW in the east to Adelaide and Kangaroo Island in the west, and throughout Tasmania.

What are its habitats and habits? It inhabits swamps, open woodlands and heathlands, where it feeds on or near the ground, mostly on grass seeds, supplemented with seeds of other plants. It is active during the day in small family groups or within pairs and roosts at night in specialised nest. 

Scientific name: Stagonopleura bella

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store