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The length averages 13.3 cm (5.25 in). All ages and sexes have a black tail, and adults have a red bill. The male has a cinnamon-colored head and neck with a blue patch surrounding the eye. The rump is purplish blue and the underparts are violet-blue with variable rufous patches. The female is smaller and mostly cinnamon brown with white barring on the underparts and silver-blue eyepatches. Juveniles are like females, but mostly unbarred tawny-brown with a reddish-brown bill.
The song (in Kenya) is described as "a high, thin chit-cheet tsereea-ee-ee tsit-tsit, or cheerer cheet tsee-tsee sur-chit."
Range and habitat
It is found in subtropical and tropical (lowland) dry shrubland in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, an estimated global extent of occurrence of 1,500,000 km². The status of the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Uraeginthus ianthinogaster". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Zimmerman, Dale A.; Turner, Donald A.; Pearson, David J. (1999). Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Princeton University Press. pp. 254–255, 553. ISBN 978-0-691-01022-9.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Ruiz V; González C (1999). "Los Azulitos Africanos". Revista Pájaros 35.
- BirdLife International (2004). Uraeginthus ianthinogaster. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 7 June 2007. .
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Ruiz-del-Valle V; Gomez-Prieto P; Reguera R; Parga-Lozano C; Serrano-Vela I (2009). "Estrildinae Finches (Aves, Passeriformes) from Africa, South Asia and Australia: a Molecular Phylogeographic Study". The Open Ornithology Journal 2: 29–36. doi:10.2174/1874453200902010029.
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