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The Red-faced Crimsonwing, also known as the African silverbill (Lonchura cantans) a common species of estrildid finch, is found in Africa. It’s natural habitat includes thickets, dense undergrowth of primary and secondary forest, exotic pine plantations with understorey, often near streams. Males have a red mask on lores and around the eye with olive coloring on the rest of the head and underside. Flanks and upperparts are deep crimson with a blackish tail. Upperwing-coverts are edged in red and flight-feathers are blackish-brown. The bill is black and legs are brown. Females differ from males, having upperparts that are more olive, less crimson and the small patch around eye is yellowish-buff to whitish in coloring.

Geography:  Africa; Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Song / Call:  Click to hear the Red-faced Crimsonwing

Size / Weight:  4″ (10–11 cm); 10·5-14·5 g

Sexing:  Red-faced Crimsonwings are easily sexed visually.

Temperament:  Red-faced Crimsonwings are quiet timid birds that do not attract attention in any aviary. They prefer to stay in shrubbery while swiftly and almost inaudibly hopping from branch to branch. Red-faced Crimsonwings are mostly found in pairs. When in search of food they sometimes join up with others of their species, and with other estrildid finches.

Breeding: In courtship, Red-faced Crimsonwing males hold nesting material in their bill, fluffs it’s feathers on the belly and flanks. With his head directed towards his intended mate, he bobs up and down by stretching and bending his legs. Their nest is a large, loosely constructed ball with a side entrance and porch or tunnel built with grass blades, stems, moss, fungi and dead leaves (looks like old abandoned nest) and lined with soft seedheads, plant down, feathers and hair-like ­mycelia of fungus. Nests are placed 2–6 m above the ground in thicket of bracken briar, shrubs and herbs near streams. They lay Clutches of  3 to 6 eggs with an incubation period of 13–14 days. Both sexes incubate the eggs.

Diet:  Goldfinch Seed, Australian Blend Goldenfeast, Millet, Dried Egg Food, Mineral Grit, meal worms. Soaked seed can be given when birds are their rearing young




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