Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Red-billed Pytilia (Pytilia lineata)


French: Beaumarquet à bec rouge German: Streifenastrild Spanish: Estrilda etíope
Other common names: Ethiopian Pytilia

Pytelia lineata


, 1863,

Dembea, Ethiopia


Has been considered conspecific with P. phoenicoptera. Monotypic.


N & C Ethiopia; old records from extreme SE Sudan.

Descriptive notes

12·5–13 cm; 11–16·8 g. Male has head and upperparts grey, rump and uppertail-coverts red, central pair of rectrices red, other tail feathers dark brown with red... read more


Alarm and flight call "chwick"; songs a few squeaky notes followed by sharp rattle,... read more


Open wooded grassland and bush, and Combretum-Terminalia woodland; at 750–... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. In captivity, small seeds and insects.


Nesting recorded in May. Courting male hops around female, holds grass or feather in bill, and bobs up and down on perch. No other... read more


Resident, with some local movements; occasionally appears in areas where not generally seen.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to abundant in W of range and in C Ethiopian Highlands, where presence confirmed at c. 30 localities, and up to 26 individuals seen in one day... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2018). Red-billed Pytilia (Pytilia lineata). 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 23 March 2018).