Blue-capped cordon-bleu

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Blue-capped cordon-bleu
Blue-capped Cordonbleu - Ndutu - Tanzania 0184 (22595084119).jpg
Male, Lake Ndutu, Tanzania
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Uraeginthus
U. cyanocephalus
Binomial name
Uraeginthus cyanocephalus
(Richmond, 1897)

The blue-capped cordon-bleu or blue-capped cordonbleu (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus) is native to Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tanzania in East Africa. This small finch does fairly well in captivity given adequate conditions; however, breeding this finch is said to be quite difficult.


The blue-capped cordon-bleu inhabits the subtropical or tropical (lowland) dry grasslands, shrublands, and deserts of subsaharan Africa. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 390,000 km2.


The finch is an omnivorous passerine eating seeds and small insects. Most of this species do not exceed 7.5 cm (3.0 in) in length and are quiet relative to other finches.

Males have blue on the tops of their heads and tend to be more vivid in colour. On female blue-caps the light brown coloration on the wings extends to the nape of the neck and over the top the head. Pairs dance holding twigs in their beaks, and film using a high-speed camera shows partners tapping their feet between twenty-five and fifty times a second, making a buzzing sound.[2]


Origin and phylogeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.[3] Estrildinae may have originated in India and dispersed thereafter (towards Africa and Pacific Ocean habitats).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Uraeginthus cyanocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Tap dancing bird is one-man band". New Scientist. 228 (3049): 20. 28 November 2015.
  3. ^ 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" (PDF). The Open Ornithology Journal. 2: 29–36. doi:10.2174/1874453200902010029.