Purple Grenadier


ORDER: Passeriformes

FAMILY: Estrildidae

GENUS: Uraeginthus

SPECIES: ianthinogaster

DESCRIPTION:
Adult males have a cinnamon colored head with blue patches around the eye, purplish blue and violet plumage adorning his body. Females and juveniles are similar; the patches around the eyes are more of a silvery-blue, and head and body colors are mostly buff, tawny, or cinnamon-browns. These beautiful birds will only reach about 5 inches in length.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Found throughout east Africa in thorn scrub, dry grassland, and open forest, usually where surface water is available much of the year.

DIET:
Omnivorous. Mostly grass and acacia seeds. Often forage on the ground in small groups of a dozen or so. Termites, larva and other small bugs are eaten, especially when rearing young.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
The nest, built mostly by the male, is in a low bush or tree and made of grass stems and panicles (loosely branched plant with flower and or fruit). 3-5 white eggs are incubated by both parents for 13 days and the young, initially fed on termites and green seed graduating to ripe seeds, fledge after 20 days.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
All the estrildids (weaver-finch) build large domed nests. They are all very similar in structure and habits, but vary widely in colors and pattern.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
Due to its brilliant color and charming song, this is a species that is commonly kept as a pet. The Purple Grenadier is a solitary species and in captivity must be kept one pair per aviary.

OUR ANIMALS:
The Purple Grenadier can be found in the African Savanna Aviary near the lions.

STATUS IN WILD:
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable. Listed as a species of Least Concern by IUCN.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Internet: http://www.nfss.org/Birds/Species/Finches/Waxbills/Pur-Gren.html
  2. http://www.paradiseearth.com/Bird%20Articles/Purple%20Grenadier.html
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Grenadier

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