The African Quailfinch (Ortygospiza atricollis) is part of the Estrildidae (Waxbills) family. They are also known as Common Quailfinch, Black-chinned Quailfinch, Ground Finch, Partridge Finch or simply Quail Finch. In France, they are called “Astrild-caille à lunettes.” In the German language this finch is referred to as “Wachtelastrild”. In Spain, this finch is named “Astrilda Aperdizada”. African Quailfinches are usually seen in pairs or small flocks; and they frequent open areas with patchy grass growth – often close to water – including sandy grassland, marshes, farms and croplands, as well as recently mowed areas. Quailfinches are true desert birds that are mostly found on the ground foraging for food. But they also spend a good time perching on stones and dead wood, for example. When this shy species is approached, their initial response is to crouch and “freeze.” When flushed, these finches raise straight into the air then drop straight back down to the ground – similar behavior has been observed in Quails. These finches walk, rather than hop (which differentiates them from other finch species). The African Quailfinch is a ground feeder and its staple diet consists of small grass seeds. Particularly during the breeding season, they seek out live food, such as insects, spiders and worms.
Song / Call: Click to hear African Quailfinch
Life Span: 3 to 7 years
Sexing: The plumage of the male African Quailfinch differs slightly from that of the female. When young, they are difficult to sex visually.
If there is no gender option listed for a bird on our website, that particular species is ‘monomorphic’, which means we’re unable to determine gender without purchasing DNA testing. DNA testing is an additional $149 per bird to guarantee preferred gender. DNA testing may add an additional 3-6 plus weeks to estimated delivery time to allow for gender results. See our FAQs for more info.
Temperament: African Quailfinch have a shy and flighty disposition.
Breeding: The African Quailfinch is monogamous unless its mate dies, in which case it will seek out a new mate. These finches build their dome-shaped nest made of grass stems and blades on the ground. The average clutch consists of 3 to 6 white eggs. Both parents participate in the incubation duties, though the female does most. The incubation period is about 14 days.
Diet: Canary Seed, Australian Blend Goldenfeast, Dried Egg Food, Cuttlefish Bone, Mineral Grit, with meal worms during breed season