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Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Steve G
Makasutu, The Gambia, November 2005
Uraeginthus bengalus


12–13 cm

  • Brown upperparts
  • Yellow belly
  • Pale blue breast, flanks and tail
  • Red patch

'Females are similar but duller, and lack the cheek spot.
Immatures: similar to the female, but with blue restricted to the face and throat.


Sub Saharan Africa:
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Niger, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique
Southern Africa: occurs only in Zimbabwe

The species has been introduced to Hawaii, the Lesser Antilles, the Windward Islands, and the Azores.



There are four subspecies:[1]

  • U. b. bengalus
  • U. b. brunneigularis
  • U. b. ugogoensis
  • U. b. katangae


Open grassy areas, woods, fields, gardens and near habitation.



Ground feeders; their diet includes small grass seeds and grain.


They build a dome shaped nest of grass, with a side entrance, in trees. The clutch consists of 4-5 white eggs.


Call: a thin tsee-tsee.
Song: a wit-sit-diddley-diddley-ee-ee.


  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 November 2014)
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

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