Vidua chalybeata

Village Indigobird

Subspecies and distribution:

V. c. chalybeata - West Africa

V. c. ultramarina - northeast Africa

V. c. centralis - East and Central Africa

V. c. amauropteryx - southern and East Africa

Morphology: (Payne 1996)

Plumage - green or blue (chalybeata)

                 purple (ultramarina)

                 steel-blue (centralis, amauropteryx)

Bill - white (chalybeata, ultramarina, centralis)

        red (amauropteryx)

Legs - orange to red

Wing - black (chalybeata, ultramarina)

           dark brown (centralis, amauropteryx)


Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)

Brown Firefinch (Lagonosticta nitidula)

Host song mimicry: (Payne 1973, 1993, 1996)

Village Indigobirds mimic the clear, rising “pea-pea” whistles and the “chick-pea-pea-pea song of the Red-billed Firefinch. The latter may rise and fall in pitch.

Google Earth map: (updated Aug 2009)

View interactive map HERE (requires plug-in)

red: geo-referenced ORNIS record

white: user-generated record

Fry, C. H. and Keith, S. (Eds). 2004. The Birds of Africa. Vol VII. Christopher Helm, London.

Quicktime video of scrolling sonogram featuring the “pea-pea” whistle mimicry.

Hosted by: Boston University


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