The Scaly-feathered Finch is near-endemic to southern Africa, and is found from Zimbabwe and northern South Africa to Botswana, Namibia and the south-western Angola.

Appearance: A very small bird with black and white feathered fore-crown which resembles scales. The two black malar stripes beneath the bill look like a moustache and the wings and tail are black and edged with white. The bill is pink.

Both sexes are identical. Juveniles are lighter with a dusky or horn -yellow bill, no ‘moustache’ and no scaling on the fore-crown.

Size: The length of the bird is 10.5cm, and it weighs 11g.

Habitat: The scaly feathered finch frequents farmlands and gardens, acacia savannah, thorn scrub and bushy vegetation alongside seasonal rivers.

Feeding Habits: Grass seeds make up the majority of its diet supplemented by termites. Most of its foraging is done on the ground.

Call: The call is a shrill kreep-krop-kreep-krop.

Breeding: Nests are built, in the branches of a thorny bush or tree and are woven from dry grass stems and inflorescences. There is a short entrance tunnel and the interior is lined with fine grass flowers. Eggs are laid year-round, usually 2 to 7 at a time.