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Lesser Seedcracker | Pyrenestes minor

The Lesser Seedcracker is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Estrildidae bird family group which includes birds such as Waxbills, Firefinches, Twinspots.

The description for the Lesser Seedcracker (Latin name Pyrenestes minor) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Pyrenestes minor can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 837 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1052. You will find a picture of the Lesser Seedcracker on page 1056.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Nyasa Seedcracker in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Lesser Seedcracker has a height of 14 cms and weighs around 18 gms. The head is coloured crimson while the bill is coloured black. The Pyrenestes minor has a brown coloured throat, brown legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Pyrenestes minor has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is crimson

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are brown

Throat is brown

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Lesser Seedcracker is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Lesser Seedcracker is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 3 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Lesser Seedcracker is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Lesser Seedcracker is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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