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Shelley's Crimsonwing - BirdForum Opus

Cryptospiza shelleyi


13 cm. Brightly-coloured terrestrial finch. Male has bright red crown, face and back, with contrasting black wings and tail. Olive-yellow underparts with warmer tones on flanks and belly. Female drabber with olive head and some red on mantle and rump. Both sexes have bright red bills.


Cryptospiza shelleyi is known from many parts of the mountains of the Albertine Rift, including the Itombwe Mountains, Kahuzi-Biega National Park and mountains west of Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nyungwe, Gishwati, Makwa and Mukura Forests in Rwanda, Bururi Forest and elsewhere in Burundi, the Rwenzori Mountains and Bwindi (Impenetrable) Forest in Uganda, as well as the Virunga Mountains (2,200-3,000 m) on the border between DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.


This is a monotypic species.


It inhabits the understorey of closed-canopy moist forest, often in lush valley bottoms near water, as well as low secondary growth at forest edges, forest clearings and glades dominated by large herbs, bamboo thickets and the upper forest/moorland ecotone.


Shelley's Crimson-wing is generally rare, only being common in a few threatened forests, and shows unexplained fluctuations in abundance. It is classified as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.1


Voice: Sharp, high-pitched tit tit tit call. Rising and falling series of high-pitched tu tutu ti ti ti.


BirdLife International (2008) Species factsheet: Cryptospiza shelleyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/10/2008.

External Links

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