Lagonosticta rhodopareia (Jameson's firefinch) 

Jamesonse vuurvinkie [Afrikaans]; Xidzingirhi (generic term for firefinches and waxbills; also applied to Ground woodpecker [check]) [Tsonga]; Roze amarant [Dutch]; Amarante de Jameson [French]; Rosenamarant, Jamesons amarant [German]; Peito-de-fogo de Jameson [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

Lagonosticta rhodopareia (Jameson's firefinch)  Lagonosticta rhodopareia (Jameson's firefinch) 

Jameson's firefinch male. [photo Callie de Wet ]

Jameson's firefinch male, Nylsvlei, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]

Lagonosticta rhodopareia (Jameson's firefinch) Lagonosticta rhodopareia (Jameson's firefinch)

Jameson's firefinch male (left) and female (right), Kruger National Park, South Africa. [photo Alan Manson ]

For information about this species, see's_Firefinch

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in patches from Ethiopia through Kenya and Tanzania to Malawi, Zambia, Angola and southern Africa. Here it is locally common from Zimbabwe and Mozambique to north-eastern South Africa, northern and eastern Botswana and northern Namibia (including the Caprivi Strip). It generally prefer rank grass in wooded habitats, especially along watercourses in more arid areas, also occupying edges of riverine forest and cultivated land.

Distribution of Jameson's firefinch 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 Accipiter minullus (Little sparrowhawk)  


It mainly eats fallen grass seeds, supplemented with insects taken from the ground or hawked aerially. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Grass seeds
    • Echinochloa colona (Jungle rice)
    • Setaria (bristle grasses)
    • Urochloa (signal grasses)
    • Panicum (guinea grasses)
    • Eragrostis tef (Teff grass, eaten in captivity)
  • Insects


  • The nest is usually built by both sexes, consisting of an oval-shaped structure with a side entrance, made of dry grass with an inner shell of soft grass inflorescences, lined with feathers. It is typically placed near the ground in a grass tuft, among dead plant material or at the base of a tree or bush.
  • Egg-laying season is year-round peaking in Summer, from December-April.
  • It lays 2-7 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 12-15 days.
  • The chicks are brooded and fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 16-19 days, becoming fully independent approximately two weeks later.


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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