Loxia erythrocephala Linnaeus, 1758.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Red-headed weaverfinch; French: Amadine а tкte rouge; German: Rotkopfamadine; Spanish: Capuchino de Cabeza Roja.
4.7–5.1 in (12–13 cm). One of the more robust estrildids. The red-headed finch, as its name implies, has a bright, blood red head. Lores are buffish. The lower throat through the belly is marked with black and white scalloping with some chestnut feathers in the middle belly and then off-white in the lower belly areas. Females lack red on the head but may carry a few red feathers. Juveniles are a paler version of the female.
Southwestern Angola, east to western Mozambique, south to South Africa.
Inhabits semi-desert, savanna, dry grassland, thorn scrub, and the edges of cultivated and inhabited areas.
Found in small flocks. The call is a “chuk, chuk” or, while in flight, a “zree zree.” The song is a series of soft buzzing notes.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
This species both walks and hops as it feeds on the ground on a variety of seeds and insects.
This species uses old nests of weavers (e.g. sociable weaver [Philetairus socius]) or sparrows, or sometimes holes in buildings. Three to eight white eggs are incubated for 12–14 days.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Occasionally kept in zoos and aviaries but not nearly as commonly as its relative the cut-throat finch (Amadina fasciata).
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