Introducing the Green-backed twinspot – a charming avian species with distinctive features such as vivid red eye patches, emerald green feathers, and a perfectly dotted belly.
The green twinspot, scientifically known as Mandingoa nitidula, is a delightful estrildid finch that inhabits various regions in Sub-Saharan Africa. This adorable bird is compact and small with dark green feathers and distinctive twin spots in white on its black beak. The male green twinspot sports a bright red patch on its face and beak tip, adding to its charm.
The male and female share many similarities, but their facial markings differ. The male boasts a red hue while the female displays yellow patches. Furthermore, young individuals lack distinct facial coloration, and adult males also have twinspot flecks.
The green-backed twinspot can be found in tropical lowland moist forests, as well as grasslands, shrublands, arable land, and exotic tree plantations.
The primary diet of these birds consists of grass seeds such as basket grass, ribbon bristle grass, and forest wood grass. Additionally, they occasionally consume stinging nettle and small insects like aphids.
South African birds are known to breed from December to April, forming monogamous couples that can stay together for life. These birds work together to build their nests using materials such as grass stems, skeletonized leaves, rootlets, twigs, and lichen. The interior of the nest is lined with feathers, fine grass, and other soft materials, and it’s often hidden in the tree canopy. During the breeding season, 4-6 eggs are laid and incubated by both parents for about 12-14 days. After hatching, both parents take turns feeding the young birds until they become fledged after around 17 days.
Although this species has a wide area for breeding, its population has not been accurately measured due to the challenges in observing it. Nonetheless, there is no indication that the population is currently at risk.