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Black-faced Quailfinch - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 13:38, 25 February 2011 by Wintibird (talk | contribs) (split from African Quailfinch)
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Photo by Steve G
Pirang, Western Division, The Gambia, December 2009
Ortygospiza atricollis


Length 9.5-10 cm, mass 8-14 g. Very small, with short tail.

  • Greyish-brown upperparts
  • White barring on chest and flanks
  • Black facial mask
  • Red bill when breeding
  • Pinkish legs
  • Long hind claw

Females lack the facial mask and are duller.
Juveniles similar to the female but have fainter barring and a darker bill.

Usually located and identified by repeated djink flight call. The absence of red or orange on the rump distinguishes it from Locustfinch and Orange-breasted Waxbill.


Most of Africa south of Sahara; Senegal east to western Cameroon, southern Sudan to Zaire and western Kenya.


This species has three subspecies:

  • O. a. atricollis (ugandae):
  • O. a. ugandae:
  • O. a. ansorgei:

It was formerly considered conspecific with African Quailfinch.


Open areas with patchy grass growth, near water, sandy grassland, marsh, farms and croplands, and recently mowed areas.



The diet includes small grass seeds and on occasional spiders or insects.


A dome-shaped nest of grass stems and blades is built on the ground. The clutch consists of 4-6 white eggs which are incubated by both parents.


The call is a metallic djink, trillink or chwillink (often given in flight), and the song is a series of click, clack, cluck notes delivered rapidly and repeatedly.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Gill F & Wright M. 2008. Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, USA. 2006. ISBN 9780691128276 Update (2008) downloaded from http://worldbirdnames.org/names.html
  3. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  4. Answers.com
  5. Feathered Flyer

Recommended Citation

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