Red-checked Cordon-bleu

The Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus bengalus), is a small passerine bird that is resident in drier regions of tropical sub-Saharan Africa. It can also be found in the USA. This bird has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 4.7 million square miles.

The Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu is 4.7 inches in length. The adult male has uniformly brown upperparts, pale blue breast, flanks and tail and a yellow belly. There is a red patch on each cheek. It has a piping tsee-tsee call which is a familiar African sound. The song is a wit-sit-diddley-diddley-ee-ee. Females are similar but duller, and lack the cheek spot. Immature birds are like the female, but with blue restricted to the face and throat.

The Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on grain and other seeds. It is frequently seen at open dry grassland and savanna habitats as well as around human habitation. The nest is a large domed grass structure with a side entrance in a tree, bush or thatch into which 4-5 white eggs are laid.

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