African Silverbill

Euodice cantans

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Estrildid Finches (Estrildidae)

Code 4

AFSI

Code 6

EUOCAN

ITIS

Breeding Type:

Monogamous



Egg Color:

White



Number of Eggs:

3 - 6



Incubation Days:

12



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

In bush, shrub, or low tree.



Nest Material:

Grass and other fine plant fibers.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

African Silverbill: Small pale tan or light brown songbird with dark brown to black coloring on wings and rump; long, black, pointed tail. Plumage has fine, wavy lines in the coloring. Paler coloring on underparts, buff to almost white on belly and vent; has stout, pale blue-gray conical bill, a pale gray eye ring, and may have paler coloring on cheeks. Sexes are similar. Juveniles are similar; rump and undertail coverts are mottled brown, lack wavy lines in their coloring, central rectrices are slightly rounded and shorter, bill is gray.

Breeding and Nesting

African Silverbill: The clutch varies from three to six white, smooth oval eggs laid in a round, domed nest constructed of grass and other plant fibers. The nest is placed in a low bush or tree, and the eggs are incubated for 11 to 13 days. The young fledge in about 21 days and become independent within a month of fledging.

Foraging and Feeding

African Silverbill: They feed mostly on grass seeds picked from the ground or taken from growing plants if available. They use their large, conical bill to pick and crack seeds off of grass and other low vegetation. They will cling to grass stems to take seeds from the inflorescences. They have also been observed to take aphids from water mint.

Vocalization

African Silverbill: Song is a rapid series of trilling notes that rise and then fall. Male's call is a loud sharp" tseep"; female utters a double "tsiptsip".

Similar Species

African Silverbill: Warbling Silverbill is paler and has a white rump.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X