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Barka Indigobird - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Baka Indigobird, Black-faced Firefinch Indigobird.

Vidua larvaticola


Small, estrildid-sized finches, 10–11 cm (4-4¼ in)
Breeding male: mainly black with greenish gloss. remiges dark brown, bill white, legs pale grey.
Female/immature/non-breeding male: Dull sparrow-like plumage with broad pale supercilium and central crown stripe separated by darker eye- and malar-stripes.

Similar Species

Not safely separable from other indigobird species on sight. Identification dependent on recognition of mimicry of calls of Black-faced Firefinch (e.g. "tu-tu-tu-wheeet").


Western Africa: Senegambia, south-eastern Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, northern Democratic Republic of Congo
Eastern Africa: Sudan, western Ethiopia


Part of the indigobird superspecies complex. Barka Indigobird regarded as monotypic.[1]


As with host, Black-faced Firefinch, mainly savannah woodland.



Brood parasite of Black-faced Firefinch Lagonosticta larvata, mimicking song of host. Gape pattern of nestlings exhibit remarkable replication of gape pattern of nestlings of host species.


They forage on the ground for small grass seeds.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Davies, NB, 2000, Cuckoos, Cowbirds and other Cheats. London: Academic Press.
  4. Payne, RB, 2005, Nestling mouth markings and colors of old world finches Estrildidae: mimicry and coevolution of nesting finches and their Vidua brood parasites. Michigan: Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan.
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2016)

Recommended Citation

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