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Jameson's Firefinch @ Tembe Elephant Park. Photo: Håvard Rosenlund

Jameson’s Firefinch

Jameson's Firefinch - Lagonosticta rhodopareia - Distribution mapJameson’s firefinch (Lagonosticta rhodopareia) is a sub-Saharan species of estrildid finch. It grows to a length of 10-11 cm (4-4.5 in). It is similar in appearance to the African firefinch (Lagonosticta rubricata), but is paler pink. Males are pink all over their body except on the folded wings, which are brown. Females are duller with a brown backside and head, and undersides have more of pale red to orange coloration. Juveniles are similar but duller than females.

Diet and habitat

The Jameson’s firefinch is found in woodlands with patches of rank grass, as well as edges of riverine forests and cultivated land. In drier areas it is typically found close to running water. It forages on the ground where it mainly eats fallen seeds and the occasional insects. It also has the ability to catch insects in the air.

Nesting

Breeding can be year-round, although it generally peaks in summer months. Both parents build the nest, which is made with dry grass and shaped into the form of an oval with an entrance on the side. Inside it is lined with fresh grass and feathers. 2-7 eggs are laid and incubated by both male and female for 12-15 days. Both parents feed the chicks, which leave the nest after 16-19 days. They become fully independent after another 14 days.

Status

The Jameson’s firefinch has a patchy distribution in its northern range but is locally common in southern Africa. It is not threatened and is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.

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