SCIENTIFIC NAME: Euplectes Franciscanus
Breeding males have a scarlet plumage, apart from his black head and waistcoat, brown wings and tail.
Non-breeding males have mostly pale yellow-brown plumage, streaked above and shading to whitish below. The line above the eye is buff.
Males are usually larger than females.
Females are similar to males but are smaller.
Juveniles resemble the non-breeding males and females, but they have wider pale fringes on their flight feathers.
BILL: black, thick and cone-shaped.
SIZE: sparrow-sized, measuring about 5.1 - 5.9 inches in length, including the tail.
WEIGHT: weighs about 12 - 22 grams.
COLOR: scarlet, black, brown, yellow-brown, white and buff.
A variety of seeds, grains, and plant food.
Tall grasslands or cultivated areas near water and marshes.
Northern Liberia, southern Mauritania, Senegambia, Guinea, north Sierra Leone, east Eritrea, Ethiopia, northwest and southern Somalia, the northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo, North Uganda, Burkina Faso, northern Ivory Coast, southern Chad, North Cameroon, Sudan, and Kenya.
CALL: A thin “tsip.”
NEST: Nests are generally made from multiple grasses and reeds placed within the marshy vegetation.
The male builds several dome-shaped nests, with a side entrance, weaving them from grasses and other plant material.
The female settles down in her chosen nest and personalizes it by lining it with soft grasses, plant material, and feathers.
EGGS: 2 - 4 aqua-blue eggs.
INCUBATION: 14 days.
FLEDGLING AGE: 18 - 21 days.
They usually forage on the ground or within grass and weed stems, and they can hunt insects both in flight and on the ground.
This species is polygynous, and males will often mate with up to six females.