Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Beautiful Firetail (Stagonopleura bella)


French: Diamant queue-de-feu German: Feuerschwanzamadine Spanish: Diamante hermoso

Loxia bella


, 1801,

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Present species and S. oculata have sometimes been placed in a separate genus, Zonaeginthus. In South Australia, proposed races samueli (from Kangaroo I) and interposita (described from Big Heath Conservation Park, in Naracoorte) appear to exhibit no constant differences from birds elsewhere in species’ range. Treated as monotypic.


SE South Australia (E from S Mt Lofty Ranges and Kangaroo I) E to S Victoria and SE New South Wales (E from E slope of Great Divide, S from Mulbring area), Flinders I and Tasmania.

Descriptive notes

11 cm; 11–16 g. Male has lores and narrow area around eye black, ear-coverts and cheek brownish-buff with faint dark barring, brownish-buff extending onto throat and... read more


Contact or identity call a mournful "weee", pitch rising and then levelling off; another call... read more


Shrubland and woodland in mesic tablelands, SE coastal heath, favouring areas with casuarinas (... read more

Food and feeding

Grass seeds, seeds of trees and shrubs; also small insects, and small snails (Gastropoda). Feeds low among vegetation and on ground;... read more


Season Sept–Jan. Male begins courtship display by holding stem of grass in bill and giving soft call, and in courtship he bows to... read more


Resident; outside breeding season wanders locally.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare or scarce to locally not uncommon. Probably commonest in Tasmania, where density of 0·04–0·1 birds/ha recorded near... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Beautiful Firetail (Stagonopleura bella). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).