A species of open woodland and savanna, the beautiful Golden-breasted Bunting feeds mainly on seeds and other plant material, with invertebrates foraged on the ground being an important supplementary food source especially during the breeding season. They’re rather dependent on a reliable source of drinking water, and increasingly gardens, farmyards and exotic plantations is also being utilised as habitat. They’re usually encountered singly, in pairs or small groups.
During spring and summer, monogamous pairs of Golden-breasted Bunting nest in untidy nests built by the female close to the ground in a thick shrub or other dense growth. Clutches of 2 or 3 eggs are incubated, also by the female, for around 2 weeks, with the chicks fledging at about the same length of time after hatching. Adults measure around 16cm in length and weigh approximately 20g.
Golden-breasted Buntings are considered of least concern by the IUCN. They occur patchily over sub-Saharan Africa, with the main centre of their distribution falling in southern and central Africa. In South Africa they are found in all provinces with the exception of the Western Cape.