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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red-billed Firefinch

Afrikaans name: Rooibekvuurvinkie

Male Red-billed Firefinch

Red-billed Firefinch

Photo © Steven Herbert

Lagonosticta senegala

The Red-billed Firefinch is widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa it occurs over most of the northern parts of the country, excluding the more arid areas, as well as in parts of the Western and Eastern Cape.

These are small birds that only reach a length of 10 cm. The male has much more red on it than the female. The female is mainly brown with some red on the face and white spots on her breast.

Red-billed Firefinches prefer areas with thickets interspersed with grass and bare patches. Their main food is grass seeds which it eats off the ground. Smaller insects are also eaten.

The male builds the nest which is normally placed on the ground under a bush. It is sometimes built on a man-made structure. Up to 6 eggs are laid and are incubated by both parents. The chicks are fed by both parents.

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 30

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 81

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 218

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 751

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 750

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 436

List of South African Birds

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