Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Purple Grenadier (Granatina ianthinogaster)


French: Cordonbleu violacé German: Veilchenastrild Spanish: Granadero oriental

Uraeginthus ianthinogaster


, 1879,

Massa, on lower Tana River, Kenya


Birds from Kisumu, in Kenya, described as race rothschildi, others from S R Guaso Nyiro, in Sotik district of Kenya, as race roosevelti, and birds from Bari, on R Shebelle, in Somalia, as race hawkeri, but none appears to exhibit any constant differences from those elsewhere in species’ range. Treated as monotypic.


SE South Sudan, E & S Ethiopia, Somalia, NE Uganda, Kenya and N & C Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm; 12–17·4 g. Male has lores cinnamon, patch around eye to below bill cobalt-blue to purplish-blue, rest of head to neck and throat cinnamon, mantle... read more


Call a thin "wis" or "wis-wis" (at 4–6 kHz), given when bird near mate or... read more


Dry country and semi-arid thornbush with acacia (Acacia) bush and thicket country, and... read more

Food and feeding

Small grass seeds; termites (Isoptera). Forages on ground and in undergrowth and thickets. Forages in pairs and in small parties;... read more


Breeding recorded in Mar–Jul and Nov in Ethiopia and May in Somalia; in E Africa during rains, Feb–Jun in L Victoria basin, Jan... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common throughout range.

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Purple Grenadier (Granatina ianthinogaster). 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).