Saturday, 18 December 2010

Blue-breasted cordonbleu

Uraeginthus angolensis

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)
Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae

This species is mostly found in Africa south of the Equator. They range from the north of South Africa up to Angola, Congo, D.R. Congo, Tanzania and Kenya. They are also found in the São Tomé and Príncipe archipelago.

The blue-breasted cordonbleu is 12-13 cm long. They weigh around 10 g.

They are found in Acacia thorn bush savannah and in sparse woodland near water. They are often seen around the edge of water holes and river banks. In some parts of their range they are common in human settlements.

The blue-breasted cordonbleu mostly eats seeds taken directly from grass inflorescences. These may be supplemented with termites and caterpillars.

They may breed year-round, but mostly in December-May. The nest is a small round ball with a short spout like entrance, built from green, flowering grass stems and feathers, and typically placed in the foliage of a bush or tree. The female builds the nest alone but the male helps to collect nest materials. Each clutch consists of 2-7 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 11-12 days. The chicks are fed green grass seeds and termites by both parents and fledge after 17-21 days. They may continue to be fed by the parents for another 2 weeks.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The species has a very large breeding range and although there is no reliable population estimate, they are described as common or locally abundant. They are not considered threatened at present.

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