Red eared Firetail Finch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Red eared firetail finch
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  • An Australian Finch
  • Scientific Name:  Emblema oculata
  • Sub Species:  None
  • Origin / Distribution:  South-west Western Australia
  • Habitat In Wild:  Heavily timbered areas.
  • Status In Wild:  ?
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  about 12 months
  • Adult plumage: attained at about  5 months
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx  7 - 10 years
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  2nd - 5th year
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic.  DNA sexing is commonly used for accurate sexing.
  • Colour mutations:  None
  • Availability:  Specialist breeders.
  • Temperament:  The Red eared firetail finch likes a densely planted aviary.  Often timid birds but can be aggressive during breeding season.  Best kept as one pair per aviary.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx) $1200
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx.110 - 120 mm (or approx  4.5 - 5 inches)
  2. Colour ("normal" colour): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx ? ozs)

Aviary Notes:

Read notes on "Finches - Australian" web page and use in conjunction with details outlined on this page.

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to "Government Laws" page.

Housing Requirements:  Click on "Housing birds" web page for general details on the housing of Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The Red eared firetail finch may be kept with other finches but with their rarity in Australian aviaries it would be best to give each pair an aviary of their own.

Diet / Feeding:  Click on "Feeding birds" web page for general details on the nutrition of Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The Red eared firetail finch requires a good quality finch mix, seeding grasses and some fruits (e.g. apple) and green leafy vegetables.  Live food is essential especially at breeding season.  Mealworms and small crickets can be offered.  Sprouted or soaked seed if available.

Basic seed mix should include Canary seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes
  • Nesting months: Mid spring to autumn.
  • Nesting receptacles: The Red eared firetail finch will build a nest in a large wire basket filled with shrub branches.
  • Nest: Domed structure made of grasses with a long tunnel entrance.  Nest is lined with feathers and soft fine grasses.  Nests are reused for additional clutches for that season.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

Adequate new nest material must be available for the birds to rebuild the old nest or build a new nest for the next clutch.

In the wild the The Red eared firetail finch will nest high up in trees and shrubs.  Plants and shrubs that grow to the aviary should be grown so the nesting parent birds can build a nest as high as possible.  Additional lower growing shrubs, plants and grasses will help replicate a natural environment.
More details on finch nests and a selection of finch nest photos can be located on the "nests", "finch nests" and "finch nest photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "nests" then "finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in the navigation bars. 

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 2, sometimes 3.  Eggs per nest 4 - 6.  Incubation approx 13 days.  Fledge approx. 21 - 24 days.  Independent approx. another ? days/weeks.

Parent birds can be very aggressive to the young after they have reached independence.  An additional aviary must be available to house the young.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.

Health Issues: Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer above "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture

  • A/A Vol 59 No. 4 Apr 2005 Page 78-79.
  • A/A Vol 54 No. 7 July 2000 Page 149-151
  • A/A Vol 53 No. 12 Dec 1999 Page 269-274 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 46 No. 8 Aug 1992 Page 198
  • A/A Vol 41 No. 7 Jul 1987 Page 165-167 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 20 No 12 Dec 1966 Page 167-171 (Inc colour plates).
  • A/A Vol 18 No 7 Jul 1964 Page 96-103.
  • A/A Vol  8 No 2 Feb 1954 Page 18-19.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 4 Apr 1949 Page 38-39.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 12 Dec-Jan 2002 Page 700-701.
  • ABK Vol 13 Issue 3. Jun-July 2000 Page 157

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