Estrildid FINCHes of The World

Order Passeriformes   Family Estrildidae


The finches of family Estrildidae are small birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are closely related to the true sparrows of family Passeridae. The estrilidid finches are gregarious and often seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They vary from 8-17 cm. These finches are all similar in structure and habits, but vary widely in plumage colors and pattern. All the estrildids build large domed nests and lay 510 white eggs. Most are sensitive to cold and require a warm, usually tropical, habitat, although a few have adapted to the cooler climates of southern Australia.

They are not closely related to the Fringillid Finches

Genus Amadina

Finch, Cut-throat  Amadina fasciata   Found: Africa
The Cut-throat Finch has pale sandy-brown plumage with flecks of black all over; black-brown tail; chestnut-brown patch on belly; pick legs. Male has bright red band across throat, hence the name.
Image at National Aviary by: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6) Dick Daniels  2) Sandy Cole 
1) Pair  2, 3, 4) Female  4, 5) Male



Finch, Red-headed  Amadina erythrocephala  Found: Africa
The male Red-headed Finch has bright red head; gray breast covered with white spots. Female has gray head..
Image by: 1, 2) Hans Hillewaert - Namibia



Genus Clytospiza - 1 species

Twinspot, Brown  Clytospiza monteiri   Found: Africa
The Brown Twinspot has dark brown uperparts; gray head; cinnamon underparts with white spotsl Male has small red throat patch.
Image by: 1) J Jennens  2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) Ron Knight - Cameroon



Genus Coccopygia

Waxbill, Yellow-bellied also Swee Waxbill  Coccopygia melanotis  Found: Africa
The Yellow-bellied Waxbill has a yellow belly; gray upper back, head, breast; red lower back, rump; black tail; black upper mandible, red lower mandible. Male has black face mask.
Image by: Derek Keats
1) Male on left, female on right



Genus Emblema - 1 species

Finch, Painted also Painted Firetail Emblema pictum Found: Australia
The male Painted Finch has red face, chin, mid-belly, rump; brown crown, back; black underparts - except for midsection - painted with white spots; bluish bill with red tip. Female duller; larger white spots.
Image by: 1) William Kreijkes  2) Jim Bendon
1,2) Male



Genus Erythrura

Finch, Gouldian Erythrura gouldiae   Endemic to Australia
The Gouldian Finch has green back; blue to purple breast; yellow belly; black tail; usually black chin; blue rump; yellow, red, or black head; ivory bill with red tip.
Image by: 1, 5) Trisha Shears at the Cincinnati Zoo   2,  3,  4, 8) Dick Daniels - Butterfly World, Florida   6) Dick - National Aviary  7) Sandy Cole - National Aviary 
1) Juvenile


Parrotfinch, Blue-faced  Erythrura trichroa  Found: Asia, Australia
The Blue-faced Parrotfinch has blue face, throat; green back; black bill.
Image by: Isidro Martínez - Canary Islands


Parrotfinch, Tricolored  also  Forbes Parrot Finch  Erythrura tricolor   Found: Indonesia
The Tircolored Parrotfinch has green back and wings; blue underparts; red tail; black bill.
Image by:  1, 3, 4, 5) Dick Daniels - Butterfly World - Florida  2) Sandy Cole - Butterfly World in Florida 




Genus Estrilda

Waxbill, Black-cheeked
  Estrilda erythronotos  Found: east Africa
The male Black-cheeked Waxbill has gray head, back, throat, breast; black face; red belly, flanks, rump, eyes; blue-black bill. Female is duller; brown eyes.
Image by: 1, 2) Jerry Oldenettel - Okaukuejo, Oshikoto, Namibia


Waxbill, Black-headed  Estrilda atricapilla  Found: central Africa
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak - Cameroon 2) Kevin O'Grady - Mount Kenya


Waxbill, Common   Estrilda astrild Found: Africa, widely introduced elsewhere
The Common Waxbill has mostly gray-brown plumage; red bill, streak through eyes; whitish cheeks, thoat; brown rump. Females similar to males, but paler.
Image by: 1) Juan Emilio   2) Andre Simons   3) Jose Rocha.  4) Arno Meintjes   5) Dick Daniels on Oahu, Hawaii  6) Dick - Kenya
1, 2) Female  4, 5) Male 



Waxbill, Crimson-rumped  Estrilda rhodopyga  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) wifflepeg - Kenya


Waxbill, Lavender   Estrilda caerulescens  Found: Africa
The Lavender Waxbill has gray body; black eye-line extends to bill; red tail.
Image by: Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo



Genus Euodice
The African Silverbill and Indian Silverbill are closely related. Some put them in their own genus, Eurodice while others include them in the Lonchura genus.

Silverbill, Indian   Euodice malabarica  also  Lonchura malabarica   Found: Asia
Also known as White-throated Munia  also  White-rumped Silverbill.
The Indian Silverbill has buff-brown upperparts; silver-gray bill; white underparts; dark wings; black tail.
Some individuals have a pronounced white rump while others have little or no white showing on the rump.
Image by: 1) J. M. Garg - Haryana, India  2, 3) DIck Daniels - Hawaii  4, 5, 6, 7) Dick- Butterfly World, Florida 




Genus Hypargos

Twinspot, Peters's  Hypargos niveoguttatus  Found: Africa
Phototgraphed by: Sandy Cole - Butterfly World in Florida



Genus Lagonosticta

Firefinch, Jameson's  Lagonosticta rhodopareia  Found: Africa
The male Jameson's firefinch has mainly pink plumage; black bill; bluish legs; sometimes white freckles on flanks. Female has darker pink plumage with red loral spot.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2, 3) Alan Manson
1) Male left, Female right  2) Female  3) Male


Firefinch, Red-billed  Lagonosticta senegala  Found: Africa
The male Red-billed Firefinch has scarlet plumage except for brown wings; yellow eye-ring;  pink bill. Female has uniformly brown upperparts; buff underparts; small red patch in front of both eyes; pink bill.
Image by: 1, 2) ChriKo  3) Arno Meintjes  4) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya
4) Male and female



Genus Lonchura

Finch, Java also Java Sparrow  Lonchura oryzivora also Padda oryzivora   Found: North America (escapees), Asia, Australia (introduced),
The Java Sparrow has gray upperparts, breast;  pink belly;  white-cheeked black head; red eye-ring; thick red bill; pink feet.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4)  DIck Daniels - Hawaii


Mannikin, Black-and-white also Black-and-white Munia Lonchura bicolor  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels  - Butterfly World, Florida  3, 4) Alan Manson


Mannikin, Bronze  also Bronze Munia  Lonchura cucullata  Found: Africa, Caribbean (introduced)
The Bronaze Mannikin has brown upperparts; iridescent green shoulder patch; dark purple head; white underparts with dark flank markings; gray bill.
Image by: 1, 5, 6) Dick Daniels - Butterfly World, Florida  2 ) New Jersy Birds  3) Charlie Westerinen   4) Dick - St. John, Virgin Islands  7) Dick - Nairobi
1) Juvenile



Mannikin, Chestnut  also Chestnut Munia also Black-headed Munia Lonchura atricapilla Found: Asia, Philippines, Hawaii
The Chestnut Mannikin has chestnut brown plumage, wings, tail; black head; gray bill,
Image by: 1) DIck Daniels - Kauai, Hawaii    


Mannikin, Chestnut-breasted  also  Chestnut-breasted Munia  Lonchura castaneothorax Found: Australia
The Chestnut-breasted Munia has a brown back; black face; grayish crown, nape
Image by: 1) Aviceda - Samsonvale Cemetery, SE Queensland, Australia 
    2) David Cook - Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo 


Mannikin, Magpie  also Magpie Munia  Lonchura fringilloides Found: Africa
The Magpie Mannikin has a brown back, wings, tail; black head; white underparts; black upper mandible, gray lower mandible; black legs.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo 


Mannikin, Madagascar  also  Madagascar Munia  Lonchura nana  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Morondava, Madagascar  2) Markus Lilje


Mannikin, Nutmeg also Scaly-breasted Munia also Spice Finch Lonchura punctulata 
    Found: North America (escapees), Asia, Australia (introduced), Hawaii
The Nutmeg Mannikan has brown upperparts; scale-like markings on the underparts; dark bill.
Similar to: Tricolored Munia. The juvenile Nutmeg Mannikan and juvenile Tricolored Munia are similar.
Image by:  1, 2, 6) Dick Daniels - Kauai, Hawaii  3) Antony Gros - India  4) Bill Lynch - California  5) Durai Raj  
1) Juvenile



Munia, Tricolored  Lonchura malacca  Found: South America (introduced), Asia
The Tricolored Munia has a chestnut back; black head, neck, belly; white belly.
Similar to: Nutmeg Mannikin. The juvenile Nutmeg Mannikan and juvenile Tricolored Munia are similar.
Image by:  1) Krayker - India  2) Barloventomagico - Venezuela



Genus Loxigilla

Bullfinch, Greater Antillean  Loxigilla violacea   Found: the Caribbean
Image by: 1, 2) New Jersy Birds
1) Female   2) Male


Bullfinch, Lesser Antillean  Loxigilla noctis  Found: the Caribbean
Image by:  1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7) Dick Daniels - St. John, US Virgin Islands   3) New Jersy Birds  
1, 2, 3) Female   4) Juvenile male  5, 6, 7) Male




Genus Nesocharis

Oliveback, Gray-headed  also  White-cheeked Oliveback  Nesocharis capistrata  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Nigel Voaden - Cameroon



Genus Neochmia

Finch, Plum-headed  Neochmia modesta  Found: Australia
The Plum-headed Finch has olive-brown upperparts; olive-brown wings with white spots; deep purple forehead, chin; white cheeks, rump; black lores, tail; white underparts with brown bars. Female has white chin.
Image by:  1) David Cook    2, 3) Aviceda - Gatton, Queensland
1) Female  2) Male


Finch, Red-browed  Neochmia temporalis  Found: Australia
The Red-browed Finch has gray underparts; olive collar, wings; dark tail; red brow, rump,
Image by: 1) David Cook - Rocky Hall, NSW, Australia 


Finch, Star  Neochmia ruficauda  Found: Australia
The Star Finch has dark olive upperparts; red face, chin; white spotted chest, flanks, tail; yellow-olive lower-breast, belly.
Image by:  1) JJ Harrison  2) André Karwath  3, 4) Dick Daniels - Butterfly World  


Genus Nigrita

Nigrita, Chestnut-breasted  Nigrita bicolor  Found: Africa
The Chestnut-breasted Nigrita has brown upperparts; short black bill; dark reddish-brown underparts.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Seth of Rabi


Nigrita, Gray-headed  also  Gray-headed Negro-Finch  Nigrita canicapillus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Mientjie  3) Peter Steward 4) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya



Nigrita, White-breasted  Nigrita fusconotus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Marcel Holyoak



Genus Odontospiza

Silverbill, Gray-headed  Odontospiza griseicapilla  also  Lonchura griseicapilla  Found: eastern Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Tarique Sani  3) Francesco Veronesi - Kenya



Genus Poephila
These species prefer dry grassland. They have buff or brown upperparts; pinkish upperparts; black tail.

Finch, Long-tailed also Shaft-tailed Finch  Poephila acuticauda  Found: Australia
The Long-tailed Finch has yellowish-brown upperparts; blue-gray head; black lores, bib, tail; pale underparts with black mark on lower belly; white rump; orange legs.
Image by:  1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8) Dick Daniels - Butterfly World   4) Dick - National Aviary  5) Sandy Cole - National Aviary
6, 7, 8) Fawn morph



Genus Pytilia

Pytilia, Green-winged  Pytilia melba Found: Africa
Image by: Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya   2) Dick - San Diego Zoo   3) Lip Kee Yap Tsavo East, Kenya  4) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo  5) Arno Meintjes 
1) Male, left;  female, right  2) Female  3, 4, 5) male



Pytilia, Red-winged  Pytilia phoenicoptera Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes



Genus Stagonopleura
These firetails have brown upperparts; red rump, bill.

Firetail, Beautiful  Stagonopleura bella  Found: Australia
The Beautiful Firetail has mainly olive-brown plumage; white underparts with fine pattern of black lines; black mask; pale blue eye-rings; red bill, rump; pink legs.
Image by: 1, 2) David Cook - Kangaroo Island, South Australia and Little Forest Plateau, Moreton National Park   3) Aviceda - Melaleuca, SW Tasmania


Firetail, Diamond  Stagonopleura guttata  Found: Australia
The Diamond Firetail has gray upperparts; white underparts; black breast bar; black flanks with white spots; crimson rump; black lores. Female has brown lores.
Image by:   1, 2, 3) David Cook -  Wamboin, NSW, Australia  2) JJ Harrison - Victoria, Australia
1) Juvenile



Genus Taeniopygia
These finches are found in Australia

Finch, Double-barred  also  Owl Finch  Taeniopygia bichenovii  Found: Australia
The Double-barred Finch has brownish-gray upperparts; black wings with white dots; black tail; black rump (T, b, annulosa) or white rump (T. b. b.); white face bordered with black; white underparts with black breast bar; blue-gray legs. These gregarious seed-eating birds build their nests in grass, a bush or low tree, and lay four eggs.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - Butterfly World in Florida    3, 4) David Cook - Callum Brae Nature Reserve, Canberra, ACT, Australia


Finch, Zebra   Taeniopygia guttata Found: Australia
The Zebra Finch has brownish-gray upperparts; orange or black cheeks; white (male) or buff (female) belly; black breast bar; chestnut flanks with white spots; black-and-white barred tail; orange to red bill
Image by: 1, 2) David Cook - May River (the Kimberley), Western Australia   3, 5) Dick Daniels - Butterfly World - Florida  4) Sandy Cole - Butterfly World 
1) Juvenile  3, 4) Black-cheeked morph  5) White morph / hybrid




Genus Uraeginthus

Cordonbleu, Blue-breasted  also Blue Waxbill   Uraeginthus angolensis Found: Southern Africa
The Blue-breasted Cordonbleu brown upperparts; pinkish-gray bill; blue face, throat, breast, flanks. Female has less blue than male and lighter belly.
Similar to: Red-cheeked Cordonbleu. The male Red-cheeked Cordonbleu has red cheeks; Blue-breasted Cordonbleu does not. Blue-breasted Cordnobleu tems to have more extensive blue on underparts.
Image by: 1, 2) Hans Hillewaert  3) Dick Daniels - Kruger National Park, South Africa   4) Paul Baker  5) dBerliner - Namibia  6) Arno Meintjes
1, 2, 3) Female  4, 5, 6) Male



Cordonbleu, Blue-capped   Uraeginthus cyanocephalus Found: Africa
The Blue-capped Cordonbleu has brown upperparts; blue cap, face, throat, breast, flanks, tail; brown belly; light eye-ring. The female has blue forehead, but rear of crown is brown.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo  3, 4) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo
1, 2, 3) Male  4) Female


Cordonbleu, Red-cheeked  Uraeginthus bengalus Found: Africa
The Red-cheeked Cordonbleu has red cheeks (male); brown upperparts; blue eye patch, throat, breast, flanks; yellowish-brown belly. The is neglible blue on forehead. Female does not have red cheek.
Similar to: Blue-breasted Cordonbleu. The male Red-cheeked Cordonbleu has red cheeks; Blue-breasted Cordonbleu does not. Blue-breasted Cordnobleu tems to have more extensive blue on underparts.
Image by: 1) Muchaxo - Gambia  2, 3, 4, 6, 7) Dick Daniels - Kigio Wildlife Conservancy (near Gilgil), Kenya   4) Darren Bellerby - Sunbird Lodge, Lake Elementatia Kenya
1, 2, 3, 4) Female  5, 6, 7) Male



Grenadier, Common also Violet-eared Waxbill Granatina granatina Found: Africa
The Violet-eared Waxbill has chestnut body; olive-brown wings; blue or violet face, rump; red eye-ring, bill.
Image by: 1) Alastair Rae   2) Arno Meintjes  3) Ian White - Zambia
2, 3) Male  


Grenadier, Purple Uraeginthus ianthinogaster also Granatina ianthinogaster  Found: Africa
The male Purple Grenadier has black tail; red bill. Male has cinnamon head, neck; blue eye patch; violet-blue underparts with variable rufous patchers. Female has mostly cinnamon-brown with white barring on the underparts; silver-blue eye-patch.
Image by: 1, 6) Dick Daniels- Butterfly World, Florida   2) Sandy Cole - Butterfly World  5) Sandy - San Diego Zoo   3, 4, 7, 8) Dick - Keekorok Lodge in the Masai Mara, Kenya
1 - 4) Female  5 - 8) male





Family Viduidae


Genus Anomalospiza - 1 species

Weaver, Parasitic  also  Cuckoo-finch  Anomalospiza imberbis  Found: Afica
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Alan Manson



Genus Viduidae
The  indigobirds and whydays are finch-like birds. The are brood parastic. They lay their eggs in host nests, but do not destroy the resident eggs/chicks. Breeding male whydahs have very long tails.

Indigobird, Village  Vidua chalybeata  Found: Africa
The male Village Indigo is bluish-black; whitish bill; orange-red legs. Female has streaked brown upperparts; buff underparts; whitish supercilium; yellowish bill. Helpful pointers with the Village Indigobird identification is association with its host species, the Red-billed Firefinch, and its presence near human habitation.
Image by: 1) Atamari - Gambia  2) Hectonichus   3) Charlie Westerinen - Victoria Falls Zimbabwe
1) Female  2, 3) Male


Whydah, Eastern Paradise also Long-tailed Paradise Whydah  Vidua paradisaea  Found: eastern Africa
The breeding male Eastern Paradise Whydah has black back, head, bill; yellowish nape; rusty-brown breast; buffy-white belly; black tail with very long feathers. The female or nonbreeding male has white median crown stripe, supercilium; off white belly.
Image by: 1, 2, 6) Dick Daniels - National Aviary   3, 5, 7) Dick - San Diego Zoo  4)  Doug Janson 8) Sandy Cole - National Aviary 
1 - 4) Female  5 - 8) Male


Whydah, Pintail  Vidua macroura  Found: Africa
The breeding male Pintail Whydah has black hood, back, tail; dark brown wings with white patches; white face, underparts; red bill. Female and nonbreeding male has streaked brown upperparts; whitish underparts with buff flanks; buff and black face pattern; red bill.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo    3, 6) Joseph Mochoge - Eburu Kenya   4) Alan Manson  5) New Jersey Birds  
1) Nonbreeding male  2) Breeding Male  3, 4) Female


Whydah, Shaft-tailed Vidua regia Found: Africa
The breeding male Shaft-tailed Whyday has black upperparts, crown; golden breast; narrow tail, wider at the end. Nonbreeding male and female has olive-brown plumage.
Image by: Jerry Oldenettel - Namibia


Whydah, Straw-tailed  Vidua fischeri  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya  3) Peter Steward - Kenya  4) Kris Maes - Ethiopia
1) Female  2) Juvenile male  3, 4) Male





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