Beautiful Firetail

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Common Name: Beautiful Firetail
Scientific Name: Stagonopleura bella

Size: 4-5 inches (10-13 cm)

Habitat: Australia; Endemic in Southeastern Australia. Its distribution range extends from Newcastle to Kangaroo Island, however, the bird is most prolific in Tasmania and off-shore islands. It lives in coastal heathland, forests and shrubbery, never far from water.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: unknown. Along with the clearing of the scrub habitat to build human dwellings, and fragmentation of habitat, the domestic cat threatens this small bird.

Diet: Grass seed and Casuarina and Melaleuca seeds. It can also be found in association with Banksia ericifolia heathland in coastal New South Wales. Small insects and snails occasionally complement this herbivore diet. The birds are usually found in pairs or forming small groups of up to 20 individuals.

Nesting: The nest of the Beautiful Firetail is shaped like a bottle on its side with a long tunnel leading to a round egg chamber. It is found in dense foliage near the ground. The nest is constructed of thin grass stems and lined with feathers. Both birds construct the nest, share the incubation of the eggs and care of the young.

Cool Facts: When breeding, Beautiful Firetails search for food in pairs. They scuttle around on the ground and are sometimes mistaken for mice as they rustle through the undergrowth.

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