Green-winged Pytillia

The Green-winged Pytillia – Pytilia melba (Melba Finch)

Before I had a digital camera, I was forever struggling to identify these little critters. At only 13cm long, it takes a very quick eye to identify them. For a beginner birder this can be both a nightmare and endless challenge. Now that I have identified them, I realise that I have seen plenty of them in my ‘before-camera-days’ at Epupa during our holiday visits. The below photo was taken at Okonjima Lodge – Afri-Cat Foundation. Although Okonjima is a mere 50km from where I live now, I have not seen these little ones in our garden.

As a fairly common resident in semi-arid Acacia savanna and dry mixed woodland, one would expect to see them much more often in the Otjiwarongo area. But they obviously prefer the wild above suburban areas. They enjoy eating seeds and insects with a preference for termites.  Their sounds are described as follows: ‘ 2-3 water droplet sounds followed by [a] trill prreeeeoooooo”  (Quite a beautiful way to describe their sounds!)

They are monogamous and breed in a small ball nest usually between 1-2 meters high in a thorny bush. (To keep out the cats?)

Green-winged Pytilia

Source: Roberts Bird Guide, 2007

Photo: Copyright of



Published by Mariette du Toit

Namibian born and raised, I am the owner Mariette du Toit Photography - where I share photos of the beautiful people I capture in my unique Namibian documentary style and Travelling Namibia where I share travelling tips with travellers across the globe through reviews on the lodges and campsites that I visit.

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