Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetail – Emblema guttata

Other Names: Diamond Finch, Diamond Sparrow

Size: 12cm

Habitat: Woodland, grasslands usually near water.

Distribution: Coastal regions of Southern Queensland, eastern half of New South Wales, Victoria and South-eastern Australia. (Through to Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island)

Food: In the aviary, green food and insect food are important during the breeding season along with pannicum, berries, fruits and millet being necessary throughout the year.

Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetail

Nesting: The nests are very large in comparison to other finch species. The nest is constructed with dried or green grass stems and blades to build the round nest. A tunnel leading into the main chamber with feathers and plant fibre lining the internal walls.

Breeding: The normal clutch consists of four or five eggs. These birds are known to build nest fairly high up away from any disturbances.

Of course this is not always achievable in aviaries so breeding in such an environment can be tricky and not always successful.

Diamond firetails do not like attention or interference for that matter when attempting to breed and are also known to abandon eggs or young due to insufficient or inadequate feeding.

Sexing: The female is usually smaller than the male and has a narrower black band across the neck, these birds are difficult to sex until they are old.

Summary

Incubation:

After second egg has been laid

Average clutch:

4-6 Eggs

Days to hatch:

14-15 days from incubation

Fledge date:

Generally 23 days old

Wean date:

 

First molt:

Begins 4 weeks of age completing around 12 weeks.

Article Extract from Marcus Pollard at Clifton Finch Aviaries

Commonly known as the Diamond Sparrow here in Australia. This bird is one of the largest of the finches and is extremely difficult to sex. There are a dozen people that will give you 2 dozen ways to sex these birds, all I can say is good luck!! The calls of the sexes are noticeably different and older hens have a pinker bill in the breeding season but, apart from this I suggest you ring 6 birds and let them pair up in your aviary and remove the unpaired birds. Works for me! The nest of this finch is huge. Green grass stems are used to construct the outer limits and every feather, pampas head, piece of tissue paper or animal fur in your aviary will disappear inside this structure. The nest has a small funnel attached to the front. Young are reared on soaked/sprouted seed and green feed and little interest is shown in live food. The Diamond has a reputation for aggression but I have not witnessed this.

They will defend the area around their nest but I have never seen them hound smaller species. I believe that they may dominate around the food stations and care would need to be taken to be aware of this occurring. If you have more than one pair in a smaller aviary you may find that only one pair actually produces youngsters. The Diamond would have to rate as one of the most beautiful of all grassfinches. Despite their size they are one of the ‘softer’ species and will not tolerate wet, damp conditions. However, with the advances in anti-protozoal drugs and worming agents available the task of keeping these birds in first rate condition is vastly improved today.

A popularity of 7 and a compatibility of 5.

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