Amazingly we have had only one posting of this fascinating timid little bird. Maybe it is because they are so well camouflaged? One mostly finds them in pairs, creeping along short, open grassland especially if there is water nearby. Quiet and unobtrusive they would forage beneath any clump of vegetation. When approached, they freeze until you nearly step on them…
…like this male bird did, making discovery a big challenge. When flushed the pair will often fly off together, going high and far… two black specks that leaves the observer non the wiser, especially if not experienced in the antics of this rather attractive species.
Outside of the breeding season they congregate in flocks, sometimes quite large when literally 1000s (OK, thats exaggerating a bit) of these little birds would fly out from under your feet when you walk in prime habitat. When one flies, 30 odd would alight all around!
One can tell breeding male and female apart by the darker upper mandible and grey (not black) face of the female.
This female African quailfinch collects nesting material from the regurgitated pellet of some large raptor, containing fur and feathers. It is generally believed that only the male collects nesting material, making this observation rather fascinating! Both participate in building the nest.