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Amadina fasciata (Cut-throat finch) 

Bandkeelvink [Afrikaans]; Enzunge (applied to some of the bishops, widows and sparrows) [Kwangali]; bandvink [Dutch]; Amadine cou-coupé [French]; Bandfink [German]; Degolado [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora >Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Estrildidae

Amadina fasciata (Cut-throat finch)  Amadina fasciata (Cut-throat finch) 
Cut-throat finch male, Rustenburg, South Africa. [photo Lizet Grobbelaar ©] Cut-throat finch female, Rustenburg, South Africa. [photo Lizet Grobbelaar ©]
Amadina fasciata (Cut-throat finch)  Amadina fasciata (Cut-throat finch) 

Cut-throat finch male. [photo Callie de Wet ©]

Cut-throat finch female. [photo Francois Dreyer ©]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs across the Sahel from Senegal to Ethiopia south to Kenya and Tanzania, with a separate population in the area from southern Angola, Zambia and Malawi to southern Africa. Here it is uncommon to fairly common from localised parts of Mozambique through Zimbabwe to Botswana and north-eastern South Africa, while scarce in Namibia, generally preferring savanna woodland.

Distribution of Cut-throat finch 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

It has been recorded as prey of Falco peregrinus (Peregrine falcon).

Movements and migrations

Generally resident while breeding, but in the non-breeding season it is nomadic.


It does most of its foraging on the ground, mainly feeding on seeds and termites.


  • The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a ball of grass with a short entrance tunnel, while the interior is lined with feathers. It is typically placed in the old nest of a Ploceus weaver, Red-billed buffalo weaver, Red-headed weaver or woodpecker, rarely using a hole in a fence post instead.
  • Egg-laying season is year-round, peaking from December-April.
  • It lays 2-7, usually 4-6 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 12-13 days.
  • Not much is known about the chicks, other then that they leave the nest after about 21-23 days.


Not threatened.


  • 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.