Video of the Day
Cordon bleu finches are lively finches who hail from Africa. Blue-capped cordon bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus) come from nations such as Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya. Red-cheeked cordon bleus (Uraeginthus bengalus) live everywhere from Senegal to Burkina Faso. Blue-breasted cordon bleus (Uraeginthus angolensis) are seen in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Male and female cordon bleu finches work in teams to create nests for raising their offspring.
Blue-Capped Cordon Bleus
As far as living environments go, blue-capped cordon bleus tend to gravitate to deserts, steppes, arid meadows, savannas and scrubby regions. Blue-capped cordon bleus tend to stay on the floors of their habitats for extended periods, eating tiny bugs and seeds. In constructing their nests, they usually seek out locales near wasp nests—a means of defense against predators. The nests are also typically situated amid dense thorn bushes. Blue-capped cordon bleus' nests are made of components such as grass and smooth plant matter.
Red-Cheeked Cordon Bleus
Red-cheeked cordon bleus generally reside in savannas, woodlands, airy meadows and farming sites. It also isn't uncommon to spot these finches near man-made establishments, such as the lawns of homes. Like blue-capped cordon bleus, red-cheeked cordon bleus frequently nest in thorny areas. Their smallish and circular nests are typically constructed out of grass stems.
Blue-breasted Cordon Bleus
Blue-breasted cordon bleus inhabit both arid deserts and semi-desert settings. Like their fellow cordon bleu finches, they are commonly found amid thornbrush. Many also are seen in airy and grassy locales, often those featuring acacia trees. They usually live in similar spots as red-cheeked cordon bleus, but sightings of the two species together are few and far between. Blue-breasted cordon bleus are usually significantly meeker in temperament than their red-cheeked counterparts. They build sizable nests that are domelike in appearance, employing a combination of plant matter and sticks.
Spotting Cordon Bleu Finches in the Wild
If you're ever on an African trip and think you see a cordon bleu finch, make sure the bird fits the physical description. These birds have lithe and narrow physiques, with plumage that blends elements of light brown and light blue. The various species all possess their own distinctive features, however. Red-cheeked cordon bleus, as their names suggest, boast crimson cheeks, for one. Blue-breasted cordon bleus have blue upper chests. Blue-capped cordon bleus have blue heads.
- Anup Shah/Digital Vision/Getty Images