Rooirugstreepkoppie [Afrikaans]; Intsasa [Xhosa]; umNdweza
(also applied to Cape bunting) [Zulu]; Rhakweni, Rhanciyoni [Tsonga];
Goudborstgors, Acacia-gors [Dutch]; Bruant à poitrine dorée [French];
Gelbbauchammer [German]; Escrevedeira-de-peito-dourado [Portuguese]
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> Metazoa (animals) >
Deuterostomia > Chordata >
Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed
vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial
vertebrates) > Tetrapoda
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria >
(dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) >
Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
Order: Passeriformes > Family: Fringillidae
Distribution and habitat
Occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa from southern Mali to Sudan
south through Uganda, Tanzania, southern DRC, Angola and Zambia to southern
Africa. Here it is fairly common across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, northern
Namibia and much of South Africa largely excluding the Western Cape, Northern
Cape and the Free State. It generally prefers savanna, especially Acacia,
Burkea africana (Burkea) and Colosphermum mopane (Mopane)
woodland, as well as dry woodland along dry rivers, tall shrubland on rocky
ground, edges of croplands, alien plantations and gardens.
Distribution of Golden-breasted bunting in
southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from
first SA Bird Atlas Project (©
Animal Demography unit, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
See here for the latest distribution
from the SABAP2.
Predators and parasites
Nestlings have been recorded as prey of
Lanius collaris (Common fiscal).
It has been recorded as host of the
Movements and migrations
Resident but sometimes locally nomadic in the
It mainly eats seeds, flower buds and insects, foraging on
the ground and in the foliage of small trees and shrubs. The following food items have been recorded
in its diet:
- Monogamous solitary nester, building an untidy cup of grass stems,
tendrils, leaf petioles and other pliable plant material (see images below),
lined with fine rootlets and hair. It is typically placed on a horizontal
fork of a bush or tree, such as an Acacia or fingerleaf (Vitex).
Golden-breasted bunting at its nest, Sericea
farm, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]
Golden-breasted bunting on nest. [photo Peter
- Egg-laying season is from September-April, peaking from October-December.
- It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about
- The chicks are fed by both parents on a diet of insects and seeds,
leaving the nest after about 13-17 days.
Not threatened, although it is regularly captured illegally
for the cage bird trade.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts
- Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker
Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.