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The Red-Billed Firefinch Is A Beautiful Scarlett Bird That Lives Up To Its Name

Amy Pilkington 21 May 2020

A lot of birds we feature are rare or bizarre, but sometimes it's nice to appreciate the more common species that are also beautiful.

Of course, "common" is relative depending on where you live in the world. For example, there's always one or two bright red cardinals making their home in my back garden each year. To me, they are just another local bird, but for someone else, they're amazing and rare.

In Africa, there is another all-red bird that's incredible to see but would feel quite common to the locals.

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It's called the Red-billed Firefinch, or the Senegal Firefinch. Like the name implies, their red coloring even extends to their beaks, though their under-tail and wings fade towards a dusky brown.

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Like with many bird species, the males are the ones with bright colors.

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Females have a pinkish-red patch between their eyes, a pink beak, and a bit of pink above their tail. The rest of their feathers are a warm golden brown.

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While common in many grassy savanna areas of Africa, these firefinches are also popular pets around the world.

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In fact, many bird lovers turn to these firefinches due to how closely their coloring resembles the Northern Cardinal. In many places, keeping cardinals as pets is banned, so these guys are as close as aviary birds can get.

h/t: eBird, That Bird Blog

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