Lesser Seedcracker

Pyrenestes minor

The lesser seedcracker or Nyasa seedcracker (Pyrenestes minor) is a fairly common species of estrildid finch found in eastern Africa. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 925,000 km2 (357,000 sq mi) and is found in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified the species as being of least concern. The lesser seedcracker grows to a length of about 14 cm. The male plumage is brown tinged with olive, apart from the forehead, crown, side of face, chin, throat and upper breast which are bright red, and the rump and central tail feathers which are deep blood red. The underparts are paler than the upper parts. The female is similar but has a smaller area of red on the face and crown. The short, broad beak is black, the brown eye is surrounded by a white eye ring, and the legs are greyish-brown or dark grey. The juvenile is similar to the adults but the colours are more muted. This species could be confused with the black-bellied seedcracker but the two species do not share a common range.
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