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Red-billed Firefinch - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by d.flack
Kotu Beach, Gambia, November 2016
Lagonosticta senegala


Male and Female
Photo © by volker sthamer
Addis Ababa. Ethiopia, November, 2009

9-10cm (3½-4 in).
Adult male

  • Scarlet head, neck, breast and belly
  • Brownish wings and vent area
  • Scarlet rump and upper tail
  • Tip of tail black
  • Reddish-pink Bill
  • Yellow eyering


Photo © by keith mitchell
Gambia, 2007

Sub-Saharan Africa :
Northern Africa: occurs only in Algeria
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland
African Islands: Cape Verde



Female, Subspecies rendalli
Photo © by charelli
Botswana, May 2018

Lagonosticta senegala has six subspecies:[1]

  • L. s. senegala
  • L. s. rhodopsis
  • L. s. ruberrima
  • L. s. brunneiceps
  • L. s. somaliensis
  • L. s. rendalli


Grassland with acacia thornbush, thickets and cultivated areas.


They can often be found with other species such as the Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu.


Diet consists mostly of small grass seeds and grain.


They construct a dome-shaped nest of grass, which is usually placed in a bush. The clutch consists of 3-6 white eggs. The Village Indigobird is a brood parasite.


Song: a rising chick-pea-pea-pea.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2016)
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links