Our Latest News

Exciting new proposal for Tasmania's South East Cape

16/10/2017

Award-winning local tourism operator Ian Johnstone can now progress a new project to lease and licence negotiations under the Tourism Opportunities in Tasmania's National Parks, Reserves and Crown Land process.More

Wineglass Bay track upgrade complete

16/10/2017

One of Tasmania's most iconic tourism experiences, the walk to Wineglass Bay from the lookout to the beach, has now re-opened after a $500,000 upgrade initiated through the Government's Tourism Infrastructure in Parks fund.
More

Tourism opportunity for Tasman Island

12/10/2017

Tourists could soon enjoy the beautiful Tasman National Park from the air, as a change to the management plan could open it up for sensitive and appropriate aircraft access.More

Beautiful Firetail, Stagonopleura bellum

Beautiful FiretailPhoto copyright Dave Watts

Description

The Beautiful Firetail is a small (up to 125mm), plump finch with a dark grey-brown body and white breast with dark fine barring and a black mask with pale blue eye ring. The legs and feet are pink-cream. It has a scarlet bill and rump, the latter being most distinctive in flight

Juveniles are duller than adults with a smaller eye patch and a blackish bill. During the breeding season, the plumage of adult males darkens and the eye ring become bluer. 

Habitat

The Beautiful Firetail can be found in sclerophyll woodland, teatree thickets, heathland and scrub. It is most prevalent in coastal areas, although its range can extend into mountain areas. It occurs singularly, in pairs or small groups.

Diet

The Beautiful Firetail usually feeds on the ground near cover. Grass, casuarina, melaleuca and tea tree seeds form a major part of the diet. Small insects are also eaten.

Breeding

The nest is an untidy dome of grass and twigs, lined with feathers, with a long entrance tunnel.  It is located in the foliage of a dense shrub near the ground. Both parents construct the nest.

Five to eight white eggs are laid. Both parents share the incubation of the eggs and care of the young. Chicks reach sexual maturity at about nine to twelve months.

Call

A penetrating whistle, "wee", also a drawn out "pee-you, pee-you". (Audio recordings courtesy of David Stewart/Nature Sound)

Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Distribution

The Beautiful Firetail is endemic to coastal south-eastern Australia, ranging from Newcastle to Kangaroo Island. It is most prolific in Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands. They occur throughout the State, but are particularly conspicuous at Melaleuca.