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Western Bluebill - BirdForum Opus

Male, subspecies haematina
Photo © by scottishdude
The Gambia, 24 March 2010
Spermophaga haematina


15 cm (6 in)

  • Glossy black head and upperparts
  • Red underparts
  • Black lower belly and undertail-coverts


  • Dusky-red forehead and face
  • Brownish black upperparts and tail
  • Red rump and underparts
  • Black and white spotted lower belly to undertail-coverts


Female, subspecies haematina
Photo © by kamst139
Casamance, Senegal, February 2017

Africa: Western Africa: found in Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.



Spermophaga haematina has three subspecies:[1]

  • S. h. haematina
  • S. h. togoensis
  • S. h. pustulata


Forests, including gallery forest, forest edges and clearings. Other woodland and gardens.



Their main diet consists of berries, grass seeds, rice and palm oil fruit husks as well as some insects such as termites, aphids and spiders.


They construct a large ball with a side entrance from moss, ferns, leaves and dry grass and hide it in a bush about 1-2 m off the ground. Their clutch contains 2-6 eggs which are incubated for 14-16 days. They fledge after 21-22 days but remain with the adults for a further 5-6 weeks.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Payne, R. B. (2020). Western Bluebill (Spermophaga haematina), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.wesblu1.01

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