The Red-eared Firetail is a mainly brown bird with fine black barring (called vermiculations), but punctuated with splashes of colour: a bright-red bill, ear-spot and rump, and a striking black-and-white belly. It also has a bright-red ear-spot, rump and beak, as well as a black-and-white spotted belly. It is a very pretty bird.
Red-eared Firetails are endemic to the south-western corner of Western Australia.
They generally forage on the ground, among grasses or in shrubs, where they eat seeds. They very occasionally also eat small insects, which are pecked from the leaves of plants. They forage singly or in small flocks, and occasionally in congregations comprising dozens of birds; they very occasionally feed in the company of other seed-eating species, especially parrots.
At HideAway Haven we often see them in the feeder with the parrots sharing the seeds.
Red-eared Firetails have been described as “the most solitary of the Australian grass finches” and they generally remain sedentary as mated pairs within a small territory of only 100-200 metres.
We are proud of the environment we have created at HideAway Haven with bird-attracting trees, shrubs, and other plants.