BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book

Estrildid FINCHes

Order Passeriformes   Family Estrildidae

The finches of family Estrildidae are small birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are closely related to the true sparrows of family Passeridae. The estrilidid finches are gregarious and often seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They vary from 8-17 cm. These finches are all similar in structure and habits, but vary widely in plumage colors and pattern. All the estrildids build large domed nests and lay 510 white eggs. Most are sensitive to cold and require a warm, usually tropical, habitat, although a few have adapted to the cooler climates of southern Australia. They are not closely related to the Fringillid Finches

African Finches          Other Estrildidae Finches

Genus Amadina

Finch,_Cut-throat  Amadina fasciata   Found: Africa
The Cut-throat Finch has pale sandy-brown plumage with flecks of black all over; black-brown tail; chestnut-brown patch on belly; pick legs. Male has bright red band across throat, hence the name.
Image at National Aviary by: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6) Dick Daniels  2) Sandy Cole 
1) Pair  2, 3, 4) Female  4, 5) Male

Finch,_Red-headed  Amadina erythrocephala  Found: Africa
The male Red-headed Finch has bright red head; gray breast covered with white spots. Female has gray head..
Image by: 1) MarioM  2, 3, 6) Derek_Keats - South Africa  4, 5) Hans Hillewaert - Namibia  7) Cristiano Crolle - Namibia  
2) Pair  3, 4) Female  6 - 7) Male

Genus Clytospiza - 1 species

Twinspot,_Brown  Clytospiza monteiri   Found: Africa
The Brown Twinspot has dark brown uperparts; gray head; cinnamon underparts with white spotsl Male has small red throat patch.
Image by: 1) Nrg800  2) Dick Daniels - specimen Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) Francesco_Veronesi - Uganda  4) Ron Knight - Cameroon 

Genus Coccopygia

Waxbill_ Swee  Coccopygia melanotis  Found: Africa
The Swee Waxbill has olive back, wings; red lower back, rump; gray head, breast. Male has black face; female has gray.
Image by: 1, 2, 4) Derek Keats  3) Francesco_Veronesi - Africa
1) Male on left, female on right  2) Female  3, 4) Male

Waxbill,_Yellow-bellied also Yellow-bellied Swee   Coccopygia quartinia  Found: Africa
The Yellow-bellied Waxbill has a yellow belly; gray upper back, head, breast; red lower back, rump; black tail; black upper mandible, red lower mandible. Male has black face mask.
Image by:1, 2) Peter Steward  3) Derek Keats - Zimbabwe  4) Francesco_Veronesi - Kenya

Genus Cryptospiza
Crimson-wings have a reddish back and rump; gray or olive underparts. They are.secretive birds which mainly inhabit mountain forests with dense undergrowth. They usually forage on or near the ground, feeding mainly on seeds such as those of grasses and balsam.

Crimson-wing, Abyssinian   Cryptospiza salvadorii  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) JP Goodey
1) Male

Crimson-wing,_Dusky  Cryptospiza jacksoni  Found: DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda
Image by: 1)

Crimson-wing,_Shelley's  Cryptospiza shelleyi  Found: Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda
Image by: 1) Field_Museum

Crimson-wing, Red-faced  Cryptospiza reichenovii  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Bart Wursten - Zimbabwe  2) Derek_Keats 3) Pinned

Genus Estrilda
Most of the genus is found in Africa with one species, the Arabian waxbill, ranging into Asia. Some species are kept as pets and have been accidentally introduced to various parts of the world.

Estrilda poliopareia  Found: Nigeria
The Anambra Waxbill has mainly dun-colored plumage; reddish-brown rump, bil; very fine barring on underparts; unusually pale eyes.
Image by: 1) brun_x

Estrilda rufibarba  Found: Saudi Arabia, Yemen
image by: 1)

  Estrilda charmosyna  Found: east Africa
The male Black-cheeked Waxbill has gray head, back, throat, breast; black face; red belly, flanks, rump, eyes; blue-black bill. Female is duller; brown eyes.
Image by: 1, 2) Jerry Oldenettel - Okaukuejo, Oshikoto, Namibia

Waxbill,_Black-crowned  Estrilda nonnula  Found: western-central Africa
Image by: 1) Tom Tarrant  2) Edward Cwik  3, 4) Francesco_Veronesi - Uganda

Waxbill,_Black-faced  Estrilda erythronotos  Africa
Image by: 1) Bernard Dupont - South Africa  2) Nik_Borrow - Tanzania  2) Ron Knight  3, 4) Derek_Keats - South Africa

Waxbill, Black-headed  Estrilda atricapilla  Found: central Africa
The Kandt's Waxbill is sometimes consider a subspecies of Black-headed Waxbill.
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak - Cameroon 2) Charles_J_Sharp - Rwanda

Waxbill,_Black-lored Estrilda nigriloris  Found: DR COngo
image by: 1)

Waxbill, Black-tailed also Gray Waxbill  Estrilda perreinFound: southern Africa
Image by: 1) Nigel Voaden  2) Alan_Manson

Waxbill,_Black-rumped  Estrilda troglodytes  Found: southern Africa
Image by: 1) Henrick von Kittlitz   2) Nik_Borrow - Ghana   3) Francesco_Veronesi - Gambia

Waxbill,_Cinderella  Estrilda thomensis  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Muchaxo  2) Ron_Knight

Waxbill, Common   Estrilda astrild Found: Africa, widely introduced elsewhere
The Common Waxbill has mostly gray-brown plumage; red bill, streak through eyes; whitish cheeks, thoat; brown rump. Females similar to males, but paler.
Image by: 1) Juan Emilio   2) Andre Simons   3) Jose Rocha.  4) Arno Meintjes   5) Dick Daniels on Oahu, Hawaii  6) Dick - Kenya
1, 2) Female  4, 5) Male 

Waxbill,_Crimson-rumped  Estrilda rhodopyga  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) wifflepeg - Kenya  3) Francesco_Veronesi - Kenya  4) Naturelly

Waxbill, Fawn-breasted  Estrilda paludicola  Found: central Africa
Image by: 1. 2) Nigel Voaden
1) Juvenile

Waxbill,_Kandt's  Estrilda kandti   Found: central Africa
The Kandt's Waxbill is sometimes consider a subspecies of Black-headed Waxbill.
Image by: 1) Kristian Svensson  2) Lip Kee

Waxbill,_Lavender   Estrilda caerulescens  Found: Africa
The Lavender Waxbill has gray body; black eye-line extends to bill; red tail.
Image by: Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo  2) Charles_J_Sharp - Gambia 3) Frans_Vandewalle - Gambia

Waxbill,_Orange-cheeked  Estrilda melpoda  Found: western and central Africa
Image by: 1) Liam Wolff  2) Francesco Veronesi - Ghana  3) Steve_Garvie - Gambia  4) Hiyashi_Haka

Genus Euschistospiza

Twinspot,_Dusky  Euschistospiza cinereovinacea   Found: Angola, DR Congo
Image by: 1) Tom Tarrant - Uganda

Twinspot,_Dybowski's  Euschistospiza dybowskii   Found: Afica
Image by: 1) Henrick Gronvold  2) Michael Andersen  3) Roger_Fotso - Cameroon

Genus Hypargos

Twinspot,_Peters's also Red-throated Twianspot  Hypargos niveoguttatus  Found: Africa
Image by: Sandy Cole - Butterfly World in Florida  2) Nigel Voaden - Congo  3) Francesco_Veronesi - Malawi

Twinspot,_Pink-throated  Hypargos margaritatus  Found: Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland
Image by: 1) Alan Manson - South Africa  2) Derek Keats

Genus Lagonosticta

Firefinch,_African  Lagonosticta rubricata  Found: Africa
The male African Firefinch has olive-brown mantle, wings; gray crown, nape, neck; red rump, upper-tail; scarlet underparts with some white spots. Females are similarly but less intensely colored.
Image by: 1, 2) Joseph Mochoge - Kenya  3) JV Verde - South Africa  4, 5) Alan_Manson
1) Female

FireFinch,_Bar-breasted  Lagonosticta rufopicta  Found: Africa
The Bar-breasted Firefinch has grayish-brown upperparts, crown; rest head red; red breast with white speckling or barring; buffy gray belly.
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi - Ghana  2) Team Mozz
1) Juvenile

Firefinch,_Black-bellied  Lagonosticta rara  Found: Africa
Image by: 1)  Nik_Borrow - Cameroon
1) Male left, female right

Firefinch,_Black-faced  Lagonosticta larvata  Found:; Africa
Image by: 1)  Peter_Wilton - Ethiopia

Firefinch,_Brown  Lagonosticta nitidula  Found: Africa
The Brown Firefinch is found in Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabw.
Image by: 1) Nigel Voaden - Zambia  2) Maans_Booysen - Namibia

Firefinch,_Chad  also   Reichenow's Finch Lagonosticta umbrinodorsalis  Found: central Africa
The male Chad Firefinch has mainly bright pinkish-red plumage; upperparts darker; gray head, nape. Females similar but duller, browner.
Image by: 1) Nigel Voaden - Cameroon

Firefinch,_Jameson's  Lagonosticta rhodopareia  Found: Africa
The male Jameson's firefinch has mainly pink plumage; black bill; bluish legs; sometimes white freckles on flanks. Female has darker pink plumage with red loral spot.
Image by:  1, 2) Alan Manson  3) Stephen_Temple - South Africa
1) Female  2) Male

Firefinch,_Mali  Lagonosticta virata  Found: Mali and Senegal (both of western Africa)
Image by: 1) Arne_Moeller

Firefinch,_Red-billed  Lagonosticta senegala  Found: Africa
The male Red-billed Firefinch has scarlet plumage except for brown wings; yellow eye-ring;  pink bill. Female has uniformly brown upperparts; buff underparts; small red patch in front of both eyes; pink bill.
Image by: 1, 2) ChriKo  3) Arno Meintjes  4) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya
4) Male and female

Firefinch,_Rock  Lagonosticta sanguinodorsalis  Found: Nigeria
Image by : 1) Ron Knight - Cameroon

Genus Mandingoa - 1 species

Twinspot,_Green-backed  Mandingoa nitidula  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Clive Reid - South Africa  2) Bernard_Dupont - South Africa   3) Neil Strickland - South Africa  4) Peter Steward
1) Juvenile   2) Female

Genus Nesocharis

Oliveback, Gray-headed  also  White-cheeked Oliveback  Nesocharis capistrata  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Nigel Voaden - Cameroon

Oliveback,_Shelley's  Nesocharis shelleyi  Found:Bioko island (off western Africa), western Cameroon and adjacent Nigeria
Image by: 1) Henrik_Gronvold  2) Ron_Knight - Cameroon
1) Male left; female right 2) Female

Oliveback,_White-collared  Nesocharis ansorgei  Found: Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda.
Image by: 1) James_Hogg - Rwanda

Genus Nigrita
The nigrita have gray or brown upperparts; short black bill; whistling or trilling songs and calls. They eat insects, fruits, seeds.

Nigrita, Chestnut-breasted  Nigrita bicolor  Found: Africa
The Chestnut-breasted Nigrita has brown upperparts; short black bill; dark reddish-brown underparts.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Raphael_Jordan - Ghana

Nigrita, Gray-headed  also  Gray-headed Negro-Finch  Nigrita canicapillus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Mientjie  3) Peter Steward 4) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya

Nigrita, Pale-fronted
  Nigrita luteifrons  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Roger_Fotso - Cameroon  2) Nik_Borrow.- Cameroon
1) Female  2) Male

Nigrita, White-breasted  Nigrita fusconotus  Found: Africa
The White-breasted Nigrita has brown back, wings; black cap; white underparts.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Marcel Holyoak

Genus Odontospiza

Silverbill,_Gray-headed  also Chestnut-breasted nigrita   Lonchura griseicapilla  Found: eastern Africa
The Grey-headed Silverbill has grayish-brown upperparts; gray head with white dots; partly black wings, tail; white rump.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Tarique Sani  3) Francesco Veronesi - Kenya 4) Christiaan_Kooyman - Kenya

Genus Ortygospiza
These birds are found in open grasslands in Africa. They are gregarious seed-eaters with short, thick, red bills. They are very terrestrial, with lark-like feet and claws.

Quailfinch,_ African  Ortygospiza fuscocrissa  Found: western and central Africa
The African Quailfinch has dark gray upperparts; barred breast, flanks; orange-buff central belly; white around eyes. Breeding male has red bill; else bill has brown upper manidble, red low mandible.
Image by: 1) Alan Manson - South Africa 2) John_Kessy  3) Derek_Keats - South Africa  4) Francesco_Veronesi - Kenya

Quailfinch,_Black-chinned   Ortygospiza gabonensis  Found; Africa
The Black-chinned Quaifinch is similar to the African Quailfinch but has much less white around the eyes.
Image by: 1) Nik_Borrow Gabon

Quailfinch,_ Black-faced  Ortygospiza atricollis  Found: western and central Africa
Image by: 1) Steve Garvie  

Genus Paludipasser

Finch,_Locust   Paludipasser locustella   Found: Africa
Image by: 1)

Genus Parmoptila

Antpecker,_Jameson's  Parmoptila jamesoni  Found: DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda
The Jameson's Antpecker was previously considered a subspecies of the Red-fronted Antpecker.
Image by: 1, 2) Tom Tarrant - Tanzania
1) Female 2) Male

Antpecker,_Red-fronted  Parmoptila rubrifrons  Found: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire
The Jameson's Antpecker was previously considered a subspecies of the Red-fronted Antpecker.
Image by: 1) Sebastiancruz  2, 3) Adam Riley - Ghana

Antpecker, Woodhouse's
  Parmoptila woodhousei  Found: central Africa
The Woodhouse's Antpecker has brown upperparts; scaled brown and white underparts.  Male has bright red forecrown. Female has rufous-brown wash to throat.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Joris_Wiethase

Genus Pyrenestes
They are gregarious seed eaters with short, very thick, grey bills. All have crimson on the face and tail.

Seedcracker,_Black-bellied  Pyrenestes ostrinuFound: Africa
The Black-bellied Seedcracker has red head, throat, breas, rump; black rest of plumage; white cresents above and below eye. Female duller.
Image by: 1, 3) Nik_Borrow - Uganda, Cameroon 2) Francesco Veronesi - Ghana 
1) Female  2, 3) Male

Seedcracker,_Crimson  Pyrenestes sanguineus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Anuar Lopez - Sierre Leone  2) Marco Ramirez - Sierre Leone

Seedcracker,_Lesser  Pyrenestes minor  Found: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Image by: 1) Dave Appleton   2) Louis_Andre_Hansen
1) Juvenile

Genus Pytilia

Pytilia,_Green-winged  Pytilia melba Found: Africa
Image by: Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya   2) Dick - San Diego Zoo   3) Lip Kee Yap Tsavo East, Kenya  4) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo  5) Arno Meintjes   6) Bernard_Dupont - South Africa
1) Male, left;  female, right  2) Female  3, 4, 5, 6) male

Pytilia,_Orange-winged also Golden-backed Pytilia   Pytilia afra  Found: Africa
The male Orange-winged Pytilia has green back with olive tinge; red face, chin; gray crown, nape; orange wings; crimson rump; pale gray throat, upper-breast; olive lower breast; off white bars on lower-breast, belly; red or orange eyes. Female has grayish head with no red; duller back and wings than male.
Image by: 1) George_Dubois - Zimbabwe   2, 3) Bill Higham - Mozambique

Pytilia,_Red-billed  Pytilia lineata Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Norbert Valovic

Pytilia,_Red-faced also Yellow-winged Ptyilia  Pytilia hypogrammica  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Edward Cwik  2) Nik_Borrow - Cameroon

Pytilia,_Red-winged  Pytilia phoenicoptera Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes

Genus Spermophaga
They are gregarious seed eaters with short, thick, blue and red bills. All have plumage which is mainly crimson and black or dark gray.

Bluebill,_Grant's   Spermophaga poliogenys  Found: Congo, Uganda
Image by: 1)

Bluebill, Red-headed  Spermophaga ruficapilla  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Francesco_Veronesi - Kenya  Nik_Borrow - Uganda

Bluebill, Western  Spermophaga haematina   Found: Africa
The male Western Bluebill has blue bill; red flanks from chin to breast; white-blue eye-ring; female lacks the eye-ring.
Image by: 1) Allan Hopkins - Gambia  2) Ron Knight  3) Francesco_Veronesi
1) Female 2) Male

Genus Uraeginthus

Cordonbleu,_Blue-breasted  also Blue Waxbill   Uraeginthus angolensis Found: Southern Africa
The Blue-breasted Cordonbleu brown upperparts; pinkish-gray bill; blue face, throat, breast, flanks. Female has less blue than male and lighter belly.
Similar to: Red-cheeked Cordonbleu. The male Red-cheeked Cordonbleu has red cheeks; Blue-breasted Cordonbleu does not. Blue-breasted Cordnobleu tems to have more extensive blue on underparts.
Image by: 1) Hans Hillewaert  2) Derek_Keats - South Africa   3) Dick Daniels - Kruger National Park, South Africa   4) Paul Baker  5) dBerliner - Namibia  6) Arno Meintjes
1, 2, 3) Female  4, 5, 6) Male

Cordonbleu,_Blue-capped   Uraeginthus cyanocephalus Found: Africa
The Blue-capped Cordonbleu has brown upperparts; blue cap, face, throat, breast, flanks, tail; brown belly; light eye-ring. The female has blue forehead, but rear of crown is brown.
Image by: 1, 4) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo   2, 3) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo 5) Francesco_Veronesi - Tanzania
1, 2) Female   3, 4) Male

Cordonbleu,_Red-cheeked  Uraeginthus bengalus Found: Africa
The Red-cheeked Cordonbleu has red cheeks (male); brown upperparts; blue eye patch, throat, breast, flanks; yellowish-brown belly. The is neglible blue on forehead. Female does not have red cheek.
Similar to: Blue-breasted Cordonbleu. The male Red-cheeked Cordonbleu has red cheeks; Blue-breasted Cordonbleu does not. Blue-breasted Cordnobleu tems to have more extensive blue on underparts.
Image by: 1) Muchaxo - Gambia  2, 3, 6) Dick Daniels - Kigio Wildlife Conservancy (near Gilgil), Kenya   5) Darren Bellerby - Kenya 4, 7) Charles_J_Sharp - Gambia
1, 2, 3, 4) Female  5, 6, 7) Male

Grenadier,_Common also Violet-eared Waxbill Granatina granatina Found: Africa
The Violet-eared Waxbill has chestnut body; olive-brown wings; blue or violet face, rump; red eye-ring, bill.
Image by: 1) Alastair Rae   2) Arno Meintjes  3) Ian White - Zambia  Derek_Keats - South Africa
2, 3, 4) Male  

Grenadier,_Purple Uraeginthus ianthinogaster also Granatina ianthinogaster  Found: Africa
The male Purple Grenadier has black tail; red bill. Male has cinnamon head, neck; blue eye patch; violet-blue underparts with variable rufous patchers. Female has mostly cinnamon-brown with white barring on the underparts; silver-blue eye-patch.
Image by: 1) Joseph Mochoge - Kenya  2, 7) Dick Daniels- Butterfly World, Florida   3) Sandy Cole - Butterfly World  6) Sandy - San Diego Zoo  4, 8, 9) Dick - Keekorok Lodge in the Masai Mara, Kenya  10) Francesco_Veronesi - Kenya
2 -5 Female  6 - 10) Male

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