- Ortygospiza fuscocrissa
Length 9.5-10 cm, mass 8-14 g. Very small, with short tail.
- Greyish-brown upperparts
- White barring on chest and flanks
- Black facial mask
- Red bill when breeding
- Pinkish legs
- Long hind claw
Females lack the facial mask and are duller.
Juveniles similar to the female but have fainter barring and a darker bill.
It was formerly considered conspecific with Black-faced Quailfinch.
This species has five subspecies:
- O. f. fuscocrissa:
- O. f. muelleri (bradfieldi, miniscula):
- O. f. smithersi:
- North-eastern Zambia
- O. f. pallida:
- O. f. digressa:
Open areas with patchy grass growth, near water, sandy grassland, marsh, farms and croplands, and recently mowed areas.
The diet includes small grass seeds and on occasional spiders or insects.
A dome-shaped nest of grass stems and blades is built on the ground. The clutch consists of 4-6 white eggs which are incubated by both parents.
The call is a metallic djink, trillink or chwillink (often given in flight), and the song is a series of click, clack, cluck notes delivered rapidly and repeatedly.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
- Gill, F and M Wright. 2008. Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, USA. 2006. ISBN 9780691128276. Update (2008) downloaded from http://worldbirdnames.org/names.html.
- Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
- Feathered Flyer
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2020) African Quailfinch. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 27 November 2020 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/African_Quailfinch