Orange-winged pytilia

The orange-winged pytilia (Pytilia afra), also known as the golden-backed pytilia,[2] is a species of estrildid finch found in Africa. It has a wide range and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed it as being of least concern.

Orange-winged pytilia
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Pytilia
P. afra
Binomial name
Pytilia afra
(Gmelin, 1789)

Fringilla afra Gmelin, 1789


This species was described as Fringilla afra by J. F. Gmelin in 1789. It is monotypic.[3]


The orange-winged pytilia is 11 cm (4.3 in) long[4] and weighs 14–15 g (0.49–0.53 oz).[5] The male's forehead, face and chin are red, and its crown and nape are grey. Its back is green, with an olive tinge. Its greater coverts are orange, and its primary coverts and flight feathers are blackish-brown, with orange edges.[4] Its rump is crimson. The outer webs of its tail are red, and the inner webs are brown.[4] Its throat and upper breast are pale grey, and its breast is olive. There are off-white bars on its breast and belly. Its legs are pale pink or pinkish-brown. Its eyes are orange or red,[4] and its beak is red.[6] The female has a greyish head, with no red. Its back and wings are duller than the male, and the bars on its underparts are broader.[4] The immature bird is like the female, but is drabber.[2]

Distribution and habitatEdit

This pytilia is found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.[1] It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 8,160,000 km2 (3,150,000 sq mi).[1] Its habitat is edges of forests, miombo woodland and wooded grasslands,[2] usually in moist areas.[4] It is found at elevations up to 1,800 m (5,900 ft) above sea level.[2]

Behaviour and ecologyEdit

The orange-winged pytilia is found in small flocks, and can form larger, looser flocks when it is not breeding.[4] It feeds on the ground, eating seeds and probably also insects. In the non-breeding season, it can move great distances to find food.[4] Its call is seee, and its song is quickly repeated whistles.[4] The orange-winged pytilia is parasitised by the broad-tailed paradise whydah, which mimics its call.[5] The orange-winged pytilia's breeding season is April to May in the southeastern Congo Basin, January to May in Zambia and Zimbabwe, March to June in Malawi, and April to June in Tanzania.[5] The eggs weigh approximately 1.42 g (0.050 oz), and those of the brood parasite weigh about 15% more, at 1.64 g (0.058 oz).[5] The pytilia's incubation period is 12 to 13 days, and the nestling period is 21 days.[5]


Because the species has a large range and a stable population trend, the IUCN has classified the species as being of least concern.[1] It may be captured and used as caged birds.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d BirdLife International (2016). "Pytilia afra". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22719340A94622719. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22719340A94622719.en.
  2. ^ a b c d Stevenson, Terry; Fanshawe, John (2004). Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi. A&C Black. p. 540. ISBN 9780713673470.
  3. ^ Payne, R. "Orange-winged Pytilia (Pytilia afra)". 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. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clement, Peter (2010). Finches and Sparrows. A&C Black. p. 334. ISBN 9781408135303.
  5. ^ a b c d e Johnsgard, Paul A. (1997). The Avian Brood Parasites: Deception at the Nest. Oxford University Press. pp. 323–324. ISBN 9780195354997.
  6. ^ Hancock, Peter; Weiersbye, Ingrid (2015). Birds of Botswana. Princeton University Press. p. 358. ISBN 9781400874170.
  7. ^ A. J. Tree. "Goldenbacked Pytilia" (PDF). The Atlas of Southern African Birds.

External linksEdit