Red-Headed Finch

red-headed-finch

Identification:

Length 13 cm (about size of Cape sparrow); bill very heavy; tail rounded.
Adult male: Whole head bright red; rest of upperparts greyish brown, faintly barred on rump (whole upperparts barred in Cut-throat Finch); breast and flanks fawn, spotted with white, each spot outlined in black; lower belly white; under tail barred black, white and brown.
Adult female: Similar to male, but head brown above, barred black and white on throat; female Cut-throat Finch barred black above.
Immature: Similar to adults, but duller; male has only trace of red on head. Chick: Palate pale with 5 black spots; throat and lower half of mouth black.

Habitat:

Open grassland with clumps of trees or small plantations, dry savanna, farmyards, cultivated fields.

Behaviour:

Often in large flocks, frequently with other seedeaters.

Diet:

Its diet includes seeds and insects.

Breeding:

Breeds mainly in the winter months (February to September) throughout southern Africa; almost any month in the Kalahari, depending on rainfall. Nest: Pad or ball of grass and feathers; in old nest of sparrow, Ploceus weaver (especially of Chestnut Weaver in n Namibia), Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Sociable Weaver, or in hole in tree or building; solitary or in small colony of 2-3 pairs in adjacent nest chambers. Clutch: 2-4, 2-11 eggs (usually 4-6). Eggs: White and rounded. Incubation: 12-14 days by both sexes. Nestling: 15-21 days; fed by both parents.

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