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.
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.
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.
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.
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.