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This is a small drab finch-like bird with grey-brown upperparts, pale buff underparts and a dark, somewhat pointed tail; the most obvious feature being the large silver bill!
A rather rare Estrildid finch found in sub-Saharan Africa north of the equator.
Northern Africa: Egypt
Common in dry habitats in the Hawaiian Islands (introduced).
Two subspecies are recognized:
Savanna, arid landscape with thorn bush, and grasslands with acacias or sparse grassland. Found from 250-1500 m. Often near settlement
The diet includes grass seeds.
The nest is a round bundle of grasses, lined with soft fibres and sometimes feathers, placed in a thick bush or hedge. 3-6 oval, smooth white eggs are laid and incubated by both parents for 11-13 days. The young fledge after 21 days.
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