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.