The diamond firetail bird is native to inland southeastern Australia, inhabiting woodland regions. It is often described as one of the most stunningly coloured birds of the finch family. The nest is built by both partners but only the female does the weaving. Both partners incubate the eggs and care for the young.
This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Museum of Victoria (known as Museums Victoria since 1983), as well as individuals such as amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.
This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.
This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.
The diamond firetail finch it characterised by the top of its body being ash brown, with crown, forehead and neck grey. The under feathers are white with a crimson rump. There is a black band across its neck which continues down the flank to be dotted with white. The bill and eye ring are coral, and the legs and feet are dark grey. The female is similar to the male although sometimes smaller. 10057 comprises of one male and one female. This specimen stands upon a wooden platform and has an identification tag tied around its leg
Inscriptions & markings
41a./ Firetialed Finch / See Catalogue, Page 15. /