Purple grenadier

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Purple grenadier
Male in Serengeti National Park
Captive female
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Uraeginthus
Species: U. ianthinogaster
Binomial name
Uraeginthus ianthinogaster
Reichenow, 1879

The purple grenadier (Uraeginthus ianthinogaster) is a common species of estrildid finch found in eastern Africa.


The length averages 13.3 cm (5.25 in). All ages and sexes have a black tail, and adults have a red bill. The male has a cinnamon-colored head and neck with a blue patch surrounding the eye. The rump is purplish blue and the underparts are violet-blue with variable rufous patches. The female is smaller and mostly cinnamon brown with white barring on the underparts and silver-blue eyepatches. Juveniles are like females, but mostly unbarred tawny-brown with a reddish-brown bill.[2]

The song (in Kenya) is described as "a high, thin chit-cheet tsereea-ee-ee tsit-tsit, or cheerer cheet tsee-tsee sur-chit."[2]

The phylogeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.The phylogeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.[3]

Range and habitat[edit]

It is found in subtropical and tropical (lowland) dry shrubland in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, an estimated global extent of occurrence of 1,500,000 km². The status of the species is evaluated as Least Concern.[4]


Origin and phylogeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.[5] Estrildinae may have originated in India and dispersed thereafter (towards Africa and Pacific Ocean habitats).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Uraeginthus ianthinogaster". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Zimmerman, Dale A.; Turner, Donald A.; Pearson, David J. (1999). Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Princeton University Press. pp. 254–255, 553. ISBN 978-0-691-01022-9. 
  3. ^ Arnaiz-Villena, A.; Ruiz V.; González C. (1999). "Los Azulitos Africanos" (PDF). Revista Pájaros 35. 
  4. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Uraeginthus ianthinogaster. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 7 June 2007. .
  5. ^ 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.