cordon blue finch

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The red-cheeked cordon-bleu or red-cheeked cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus) is a small passerine bird. This estrildid finch is a resident breeding bird in drier regions of tropical sub-Saharan Africa. Red-cheeked cordon-bleu has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 7,700,000 km².

Like other members of its genus, the red-cheeked cordon-bleu is a very small finch, measuring only 12.5–13 cm (4.9–5.1 in) in length.[2] It weighs 9.9 g (0.35 oz) on average, with known extremes in wild populations ranging from 8.9–11 g (0.31–0.39 oz).[8] The adult male has uniformly brown upperparts, pale blue breast, flanks and tail and a yellow belly. There is a red patch on each cheek, but this can rarely appear orange or even yellow. Females are similar but duller, and lack the cheek spot. Immature birds are like the female, but with blue restricted to the face and throat.

The red-cheeked cordon-bleu is common and widespread across much of central and eastern Africa. Its range stretches from the West African countries of Senegal, Gambia and southwestern Mauritania east through southern Mali, southern Niger, southern Chad and southern Sudan to Ethiopia and northwestern and southwestern Somalia, and then south to southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, eastern Angola, northern and western Zambia, southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique. It has also been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands of Hawaii and Oahu.[11] It has been found one time (in 1924) on Cape Verde and was recorded in the Maadi area in northern Egypt during the mid-1960s; the latter birds may have been escaped cage birds, as there have been no records since.[12]

It is found in all habitats except forest interiors,[5] at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,430 m (7,970 ft). source

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