Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-breasted Nigrita (Nigrita bicolor)


French: Nigrette à ventre roux German: Zweifarbenschwärzling Spanish: Negrita pechirrufa
Other common names: Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch

Pytelia bicolor


, 1844,



Poorly differentiated race saturatior sometimes synonymized with brunnescens. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. b. bicolor (Hartlaub, 1844) – W Gambia (rare), SW Senegal (Casamance), Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia E to W Togo.
  • N. b. brunnescens Reichenow, 1902 – S Benin, S Nigeria, Príncipe I, C & S Cameroon and Central African Republic S to N Angola and DRCongo (from lower R Congo E to Upper Uele, C Ituri, Kasai and Manyema).
  • N. b. saturatior Reichenow, 1902 – Albertine Rift in NE DRCongo and W Uganda.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 8·6-11·7 g (nominate). Male nominate race has hindcrown and upperparts, including upperwing and tail, dark slaty grey, forehead, side of head,... read more


    Song a wide variety of loud mellow musical whistles, sometimes with chattering notes; in Liberia,... read more


    Primary and secondary guinean forest, gardens, open woodland, savanna; uncommon in coffee forest.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including caterpillars and winged termites (Isoptera); oily husks and fruit pulp of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), and... read more


    Season Jul–Aug in Sierra Leone; young seen in most months in Liberia, nest-building Feb–Apr in Ghana, breeds Mar–Jul in... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon; rare in Gambia. Reports of this species in W Kenya considered unfounded. Density c. 4–5 pairs/km2 in Gabon. Occurs... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Chestnut-breasted Nigrita (Nigrita bicolor). 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 25 February 2020).