Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Red-headed Finch (Amadina erythrocephala)


French: Amadine à tête rouge German: Rotkopfastrild Spanish: Estrilda cabecirroja

Loxia eryocephala

[sic] Linnaeus

, 1758,

Africa = Angola


Slightly darker birds from Bergville (W KwaZulu-Natal), in NE South Africa, described as race dissita, but appear inadequately differentiated from birds in rest of species’ range to warrant recognition. Monotypic.


SW Angola (S from SW Bengo), Namibia, Botswana, S Zimbabwe, South Africa and lowland Lesotho.

Descriptive notes

12–13 cm; 17·5-30 g. Male has head to nape, cheek and throat red, broad pale grey area on lores; hindneck and mantle unmarked grey, rest of upperparts greyish-brown,... read more


Call "shep", similar to that of a sparrow (Passer), also "zree-zree" in flight; alarm a... read more


Densely wooded thornbush in breeding season; at other seasons in more open semi-desert grassland in... read more

Food and feeding

Grass seeds and insects, including termites (Isoptera). Gregarious, foraging in small groups; flocks of hundreds appear at water-holes... read more


Breeds in all months (mainly Feb–Jul) in Botswana, and in South Africa Feb–Sept in NW and Jan–Oct (mainly Apr–May)... read more


Seasonal in occurrence in most areas; also irregular and unpredictable nomadic movements, including... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Considered locally common in most of range. Locally common to abundant in SW Angola, and locally common in NC Namibia and NE & SE Botswana;... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2018). Red-headed Finch (Amadina erythrocephala). 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 19 March 2018).