Green-winged Pytilia

Pytilia melba

The Green-winged Pytilia is a beautiful little finch occurring in all South Africa’s provinces with the exception of the Eastern and Western Cape. It has a wide, if patchy, distribution over much of sub-Saharan Africa and is listed as being of least concern by the IUCN, with its range reflecting the species’ preference for dry and thorny savannas with ready access to a reliable water source. They forage on open ground for the grass seeds that make up the bulk of their diet, occasionally also pecking at termites.

Green-winged Pytilias are monogamous and territorial, and breed throughout the year, though there’s a distinct peak in the summer and early autumn. Their untidy grass-nests are built in the shape of a ball (with a side entrance) in thorny shrubs and trees. Both parents take it in turns to incubate the clutch of up to 6 eggs over a two week period. The chicks grow quickly and leave the nest before they’re 3 weeks old.

44 thoughts on “Green-winged Pytilia

  1. naturebackin

    An exquisite little bird. I know it better as the Melba Finch (I had to look up the “new” name).
    So sorry to read that a relative of yours has Covid – I do hope that the symptoms remain mild and all will be okay. Keep safe.

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                1. de Wets Wild Post author

                  Gelukkig nie in ons huis nie Dina, maar n baie naby en geliefde familielid en ek verstaan daarom heeltemal hoe bekommerd jy sou wees oor jou kinders en kleinkind. En wonderlik om te hoor dat baba nie geraak is nie!

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                    1. de Wets Wild Post author

                      Ek hoop jul het n heerlike tyd, Dina. Jammer dat mens nie huidiglik die skuilings en piekniekplek mag gebruik by Rietvlei nie maar nogtans wonderlik om hier, amper op mens se voorstoep, die natuur so te kan geniet. Ek hoop regtig julle het n fantastiese tyd, klink of julle dit dubbel-en-dwars verdien.

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Yes, Tracy, I am afraid things seem to be going from bad to worse at pace as far as the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa is concerned. I know that the media thrives on selling the bad news, but this virus is striking very close to home now without having to pick up a newspaper. I am also worried about so many of our blog-friends who haven’t been around to visit lately.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We really enjoy sharing our treasures with our fellow nature lovers and really appreciate your kind comment, Carol! I think the area around Dundee might not be much to this Pytilia’s liking, but if you take an excursion east of Vryheid and Pongola into Zululand your chances will get much better!

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  2. T Ibara Photo

    Hello Dries,
    As always it’s a pleasure to be introduced to wildlife in Africa through your beautiful posts. This bird (both male and female) is so pretty. I hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words, Takami.
      Unfortunately COVID-19 is wreaking havoc here in South Africa, as you’ve probably seen in the news, and a very dear family member of ours has recently tested positive though presently still feeling in good shape, and we pray earnestly that it remains so.
      I hope the news is better at your end of the line?

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      1. T Ibara Photo

        Thank you so much for your reply Dries.
        First of all, I am so sorry to hear about your family member. Hubby and I also keep them in our thoughts. It is a stressful situation as it is, and when it affects those close to us, it becomes even more so.

        Unfortunately, things are not so much better here. We are having a surge in new confirmed cases, and there is much tension and uncertainty. We too, will try to take it day by day, while doing our best to remain diligent and responsible.

        Please do try and continue to take care.

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Thank you very much for your friendship and caring, Takami. Scary times we’re living in and we will certainly and earnestly be thinking of and praying for you and your family too. It seems no country has this thing entirely under control. We’ll keep trying to do everything we can to keep safe and trust God to help where we fall short. Wishing you, your husband and all your loved ones everything of the best.

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