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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, South 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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