Red-billed firefinch

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Red-billed firefinch
Red billed firefinch mbweya.jpg
Male red-billed firefinch in Senegal
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Lagonosticta
Species: L. senegala
Binomial name
Lagonosticta senegala
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The red-billed firefinch or Senegal firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) is a small passerine bird. This estrildid finch is a resident breeding bird in most of sub-Saharan Africa with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 10,000,000 km². This species was introduced to Egypt, however, the introduced population has become extinct.

Description[edit]

Female in Ethiopia

The red-billed firefinch is 10 cm in length. The adult male has entirely scarlet plumage apart from brown wings. The bill is pink, and there is a yellow eye-ring. Females have uniformly brown upperparts and buff underparts. There is a small red patch in front of both eyes, and the bill is pink.

Range and habitat[edit]

This widespread and abundant species is often found around human habitation, often with other species such as the red-cheeked cordon-bleu, and its soft queet-queet call is a familiar African sound. The song is a rising chick-pea-pea-pea.

The red-billed firefinch is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on grain and other seeds. It frequents open grassland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure with a side entrance, built low in a bush, wall or thatch into which 3-6 white eggs are laid. The nest of this species is parasitised by the village indigobird.

Origin[edit]

Female Red-billed Firefinch

Origin and phylogeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al..[2] Estrildinae may have originated in India and dispersed thereafter (towards Africa and Pacific Ocean habitats).

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Lagonosticta senegala". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Arnaiz-Villena, A; Ruiz-del-Valle V, Gomez-Prieto P, Reguera R, Parga-Lozano C, Serrano-Vela I (2009). "Estrildinae Finches (Aves, Passeriformes) from Africa, South Asia and Australia: a Molecular Phylogeographic Study". The Open Ornithology Journal 2: 29–36. doi:10.2174/1874453200902010029. 

External links[edit]