Paludipasser locustella (Locustfinch) 

[= Ortygospiza locustella

Rooivlerkkwartelvinkie [Afrikaans]; Sprinkhaanastrild [Dutch]; Astrild-caille gorge rouge [French]; Heuschreckenastrild [German]; Bico-de-lacre-gafanhoto [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

Paludipasser locustella (Locustfinch)

Locustfinches, Rio Savanne, Mozambique. [photo David Shackelford , Rockjumper Birding Tours]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in two separate areas of sub-Saharan Africa, one in western DRC and Congo and the other extending from eastern Zambia to southern Tanzania, Malawi, northern Mozambique and southern Africa. Here it is generally uncommon, occupying small patches of northern Botswana, north-eastern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique. It generally prefers marshy areas and adjacent moist, short grassland, with patches of bare waterlogged ground between grass tufts.

Distribution of Locustfinch 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).

Predators and parasites

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

Movements and migrations

Nomadic in the dry season, travelling great distances in search of moist habitats.


It mainly eats grass seeds, doing most of its foraging on the ground between grass tufts.


  • The nest is a ball of grass with a side entrance, made of fine grass blades and lined with feathers, typically placed just above ground in a grass tuft in a marsh or vlei.
  • Egg-laying season is from January-May, peaking from January-February.
  • It lays 4-8 eggs, which are incubated mainly by the female.
  • Little is known about the chicks, other then that they are fed by both parents.


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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