Thursday, 14 August 2014

Cut-throat finch

Amadina fasciata

Photo by Philip Perry (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
cut-throat finch (en); degolado (pt); amadine cou-coupé (fr); estrilda degollada (es); bandamadine (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae

This species is found along the Sahel belt, from Senegal and southern Mauritania east through Mali, northern Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northern Nigeria, Southern Chad and into southern Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Also along East Africa from Ethiopia to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa.

These birds are 11-12 cm long and weigh 15-32 g.

The cut-throat finch is mostly found in dry savannas, particularly Acacia sp. and Colophospermum mopane, also using dry tropical grasslands and scrublands. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.100 m.

They forage on the ground, usually in small groups, taking various grass seeds and termites.

Cut-throat finches breed in August-May, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting a ball of grass with a short entrance tunnel, lined with feathers. It is typically placed in an old nest of a Ploceus weaver, red-billed buffalo weaver Bubalornis niger, red-headed weaver Anaplectes rubriceps, or of a woodpecker, occasionally also using holes in fence posts. The female lays 2-7 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 12-13 days. The chicks fledge 18-23 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common or locally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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