Amadina erythrocephala (Red-headed finch) 

Rooikopvink [Afrikaans]; Kafilita [Kwangali]; Jeremane [South Sotho]; Roodkopamandine [Dutch]; Amadine à tête rouge [French]; Rotkopfamadine [German]; Degolado-de-cabeça-vermelha [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora >Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Estrildidae

Amadina erythrocephala (Red-headed finch)  Amadina erythrocephala (Red-headed finch) 

Red-headed finch male. [photo Johan van Rensburg ©]

Red-headed finch male (left) and female (right), Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. [photo Peet van Schalkwyk ©, see also]

Amadina erythrocephala (Red-headed finch) Amadina erythrocephala (Red-headed finch)

Red-headed finch male (left) and female (right), Rooipoort Nature Reserve, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from south-western Zimbabwe through Botswana and much of South Africa to Namibia and south-western Angola. It generally prefers open desert grassland, arid savanna, shrubland, croplands and farmyards.

Distribution of Red-headed finch in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Predators and parasites

It has been recorded as prey of Falco chicquera (Red-necked falcon).

Movements and migrations

Highly nomadic in the non-breeding season.


It does most of its foraging on the ground, feeding on small seeds and insects.


  • The nest can be either a small pad or a ball, made of grass and lined with feathers. It is typically placed in an old nest of another bird, such as a Ploceus weaver, Red-billed buffalo weaver, Cape sparrow or a Sociable weaver, although it may occasionally use a hole in a tree or building instead.
  • It can breed at any time of year in response to rainfall, but egg-laying season is usually from February-September.
  • It lays 2-11, usually 4-6 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 12-14 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 15-21 days.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 



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