Wild Birds

Red-billed Firefinches or Senegal Firefinches

The Red-billed Firefinches or Senegal Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) is found in most of sub-Saharan Africa, where it occurs in open grassland and cultivation, as well as frequenting urban areas.

Within its range, it is widespread and abundant. It is often seen with other bird species, such as the Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu.


The Red-billed Firefinches is a small finch measuring about 10cm in length.

The adult male has entirely red plumage except for the brown wings. He has yellow eye rings and a pink bill.

Females are brown above and buff below. They have a small red patch in front of each eye and the bill is pink.

Diet / Feeding:

The Red-billed Firefinch mostly feeds on grain and other seeds.

Nesting / Breeding:

They construct large domed grass nests with a side entrance. The nest is usually situated low in a bush, wall, or thatch. The average clutch consists of 3 – 6 white eggs are laid.

Their nests are often parasitid by the Village Indigobird, which lays its own eggs in their nests for the Red-billed Finches to raise as their own.

Calls / Vocalizations

Its call is described as a soft queet-queet and its song as a rising chick-pea-pea-pea.

Further Finch Reading


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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