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Beautiful Firetail

A Beautiful Firetail scouring the ground for food

Scientific Name: Stagonopleura bella

Size: 11 to 12 cm

What does it look 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 is it found?

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 & habits?

The Beautiful Firetail 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.

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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