Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Blue-capped Cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus)


French: Cordonbleu cyanocéphale German: Blaukopfastrild Spanish: Azulito coroniazul

Estrilda cyanocephala


, 1897,

Useri River, near Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania




SE South Sudan (Kapoeta), S Ethiopia, E Uganda (Moroto)#R, Kenya, S Somalia and N & C Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

13–13·5 cm; 8·5–10·8 g. Male has head to upper breast and flanks ­azure-blue, mantle, back and upperwing tawny-brown, primary P9 broad near tip, rump and... read more


Contact call a thin "tseee", harsher than that of U. angolensis; alarm a sharp... read more


Arid and semi-arid acacia savanna with thickets, thornbush scrub (Acacia, Commiphora... read more

Food and feeding

Small seeds of annual grasses; also insects, mainly termites (Isoptera). Feeds on ground; takes termites by pecking through earth-covered... read more


Season May–Jun in Somalia, during rains and into early dry season in Kenya, and Nov–Jun in Tanzania. Courting male faces female... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common; nowhere numerous. Fairly widespread in Kenya and Tanzania; more localized in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Blue-capped Cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).