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Green-winged Pytilia | Pytilia melba

The Green-winged Pytilia 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 Green-winged Pytilia (Latin name Pytilia melba) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Pytilia melba can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 834 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1058. You will find a picture of the Green-winged Pytilia 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 Melba Finch in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Green-winged Pytilia is known in Afrikaans as Gewone Melba.

The Green-winged Pytilia has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 15 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured brown. The Pytilia melba has a brown coloured throat, black legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Pytilia melba 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 brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is brown

Legs are black

Throat is brown

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Pytilia melba attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

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

The Pytilia melba forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Green-winged Pytilia 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 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured cream.

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

The Green-winged Pytilia is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

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

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Green-winged Pytilia is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

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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