Species Profile Minimize

Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Passeriformes
Family - Estrildidae
Genus - Stagonopleura


Distribution Map

Provided by Birdata -

Beautiful Firetail Finch - Emblema bella

Other Names: N/A

Size: 10-13cm

Habitat: Coastal heathland, forests, shrubbery, never far from water. Also located in areas of scrub populated with tea-tress.

Distribution: Certain isolated area in Southeastern Australia, its distrbution rages from and extends from Newcastle to Kangaroo Island however it is more dominant in Tasmania and neghbouring islands. It is not a popular bird in captivity as Government regulations and restrictions apply to the keeping of Bautiful Finches.

Food: The Beautiful Firetail eats mainly grass seeds and the seeds of the casuarinas and tea tree. In captivity a good variety of food is required ranging from premium finch mix, greens and sprouted seeds through to live food such as mealworms and crickets. 

Nesting: A dome shaped nest with long extrance leading into a spherical nest chamber. The exterior is constructed using corase grases. The internal chamber is lined with feathers and finer grass. The beautiful Fire-tail prefers nesting in thick grasses and shrubs. To ensure greater success, provide the birds with sufficient nesting materials.

Egg incubation - Carried out by both parents.
Inspections - Limit nest inspecitons.

Breeding: Season last from October to January. The pair share the responsibility of making the nest, clutch sizes normally consist of 5-8 egss. Brooding is around 20 days. Once hatched the young remain in th enest for a further 20 days and before leaving the nest. After a further 4 weeks they are self sufficient and will reach sexual maturity at about 9 to twelve months of age. The young will need to be removed when they become fully independent. 

Sexing: The hen does not present a black patch on the abdomen


These birds are best kept in singles pairs. In a mixed collection they will breed better with reduced competition. It is bets to ensure that rate place din a well planted aviary environment due to their nesting requirements. With their lack of numbers in the wild choose adequate steps to ensure the success of breeding and be mindful to remove the young once they are showing sign sod independence. These birds are expensive and very rare in captivity. 



By both sexes

Average clutch:

4-5 Eggs

Days to hatch:

13-15 days from incubation

Fledge date:

Generally 23 days old

Wean date:


First molt:

Adult plumage complete at 6 months of age

Status in wild:

Rare (Uncommon)


6-8 years



The Beautiful Firetail is a small thick-set finch with an olive-brown body and a white breast with dark fine barring. The head has a black mask with pale blue eye ring and fairly thick, red bill. The rump is crimson. The legs and feet are pink-cream. The wings are short and rounded and the tail short and square-tipped. The juveniles are duller than the adults with a smaller eye patch and a blackish bill. They are also known as the Firetail Finch or Tasmanian Finch. They are usually seen in pairs or small family groups.


  • Care & breeding of Australian Finches - Page 15 (Blewett / Kroyer-Pedersen) : This book is for the bird lover and the finch fancier. 
  • A Guide to Australian Grassfinches - Pages 48-49 (Kingston): The popularity of Australian Grassfinches worldwide is largely due to the hardiness of these tiny, gregarious and colourful birds. The 18 members of the Australian Grassfinch Estrildid family are featured in detail. 160 colour photographs support the 80 pages of text and diagrams indicate visual differences. A must for every finch breeder's library. 
  • The New Finch Handbook by Christa Koepff: Barron's Handbooks for bird owners and breeders are written, designed, and illustrated in much the same attractive fashion as Complete Pet Owner's Manuals. However, most Handbooks are somewhat longer and more extensive in their coverage, the longest among them running to about 160 pages.
  • Australian Birdkeeper Magazine - Various Editions