PHONE: +256 (0) 782 061 184 | Plot 710 Gayaza Rd Level 4, Miro Plaza|EMAIL:

Shelley’s Crimsonwing aka the rarest African Finch

//Shelley’s Crimsonwing aka the rarest African Finch
  • Shelley's Crimsonwing

What does Shelley’s Crimsonwing look like?! 

Shelley’s Crimsonwing -This is a small beautifully colored elusive terrestrial finch. Additionally, it has a body length of about 13 – 14 cm long. This rare species can be tracked on your African birding safari in Uganda.

Male Shelley’s Crimsonwings have a striking red on the head. That’s to say, the red stretches along the back. And shortly on the tail upperparts. Moreso the bill is bright red. Furthermore, the wings are patched with red on the upper sides, olive green and black on the lower sides.

The neck has a flawless fusion of red and olive green. And the lower belly is painted brown.  Moreover, the throat and chest are shaded olive green with black layers fusing through. However, the females have an olive-green head with a reddish coloring on the mantle and other body parts.

Range of Africa’s Rarest Finch

In Africa, Shelley’s Crimsonwing can be found in Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. They thrive in moist tropical forests. Additionally, those particularly located in the lower verdant valleys near a water source.

Shelley’s Crimsonwing prefers forest edges and clearings.  Also, the glades occurred predominantly by bamboo thickets. It is also a forest endemic species.

Classification of Shelley’s Crimsonwing

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Estrildidae

Genus: Cryptospiza

Species: Cryptospiza

Scientific Name of Shelley’s Crimsonwing: Cryptospiza Shelleyi

Food Habits of Shelley’s Crimsonwing

These birds are habitually insectivores. And undeniably prey on different invertebrates for food.  For instance; they eat small grasshoppers, crickets, ants, small caterpillars, termites, maggots and small earthworms. Additionally, other preferred items on the menu include; freshly grown green seed – heads among others

Breeding of Africa’s rarest Finch

These little birds like hens also require privacy to chance breeding. Besides, the dome-like nest is established in dense canopy or thick scrubs above the ground.  And by the same token, they lay 3 – 6 eggs that are incubated by parents for the next 13 days.

The young fledge when 3 weeks old. They spend the next month independent. The females grow darker than males during breeding season.

Ecosystem roles of Shelley’s Crimsonwing

Population control for invertebrates and seed dispersal in plants.

IUCN Report of Shelley’s Crimsonwing

According to the report from the 2017 IUCN red list, this species was recorded as endangered due to serious habit loss.

Predators of Africa’s rarest finch

Birding eating mammals and reptiles.

Voicing & Communication of Shelley’s Crimsonwing

These birds are extremely rare, so little has been documented about their voicing.

Birders seeking to organize unique Birding tours in Uganda should contact our reservations team for inquiries. We pledge to prepare and guide you on a life-changing wildlife safari / tour in any of Uganda’s incredibly endowed Nationals parks. To book a safari or make inquiries, simply send us an email to or call us now on +256-782 061184 to speak with our reservations team.

By |2019-10-11T14:34:17+03:00October 10th, 2019|Rak Safaris Blog|
Language Switcher »