Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Cut-throat Finch (Amadina fasciata)


French: Amadine cou-coupé German: Bandastrild Spanish: Estrilda degollada
Other common names: Cut-throat

Loxia fasciata

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

no locality = Senegal


Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. f. fasciata (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – S Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia E to Sudan and W & N South Sudan.
  • A. f. alexanderi Neumann, 1908 – Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, SE South Sudan, NE Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
  • A. f. meridionalis Neunzig, 1910 – S Angola, N Namibia, S & E Zambia, N & E Botswana, N Zimbabwe, Malawi and N Mozambique.
  • A. f. contigua Clancey, 1970 – SE Botswana, S & E Zimbabwe, S Mozambique and NE South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 15–32 g (Chad). Male nominate race, is sandy brown with black bars above, upperwing brown with buff and black spots and bars, tail brown, outermost... read more


    Contact calls are chirps, nesting pairs call "kee-air", flight call a thin "eee-eee-eee". Song a... read more


    Semi-arid open grassy woodland, dry bush, acacia (Acacia) savanna, mopane (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Grass seeds, taken on ground; also termites (Isoptera) and some other insects. Forages in small groups and flocks, also sometimes in pairs... read more


    Season Aug and Dec–Mar in Senegal, Jan in Nigeria, Apr, May, Nov and Dec in Ethiopia, Dec and Mar–Apr (at end of long rains,... read more


    Mostly resident, with some wandering. In drier areas of W Africa seasonally migratory, a dry-season... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common; rare in SW part of range (Angola, Namibia). Estimated population in S Mozambique at least 5000 individuals. Numbers... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2019). Cut-throat Finch (Amadina fasciata). 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 13 December 2019).