Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Firetail (Oreostruthus fuliginosus)


French: Diamant des montagnes German: Bergamadine Spanish: Diamante montano

Oreospiza fuliginosa

De Vis

, 1897,

Mount Scratchley, New Guinea


Sometimes considered monotypic on account of “trivial clinal variation in plumage intensity”#R. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. f. pallidus Rand, 1940 – Oranje and Hindenburg Mts, in New Guinea.
  • O. f. hagenensis Mayr & Gilliard, 1954 – Central Highlands, in E New Guinea.
  • O. f. fuliginosus (De Vis, 1897) – mountains of SE New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 17·2-20 g. Male nominate race has crown grey-brown, nape to back and upperwing dark olive-brown, rump and uppertail-coverts red, tail brownish-black; throat and... read more


    A mewing, rising "huwee"; when disturbed, utters repeated explosive "pit".


    High mountains, montane forest and forest edge near alpine grassland, mixed forest of southern... read more

    Food and feeding

    Grass seeds; also fruit and insects. Feeds in thick stands of grass, in bamboo and on ground. Forages in pairs and in small groups.... read more


    Nest with young in mid-Apr, and mummified nestling found in Dec in nest disused for no more than several weeks; nest-building observed in... read more


    No information; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Central Papuan Mountains EBA. Poorly known species. Thought to be not uncommon, but very unobtrusive; probably... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2019). Mountain Firetail (Oreostruthus fuliginosus). 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 26 August 2019).