An unusual and distinctive firefinch with very different male and female plumages. Males have a black face, while the color of the underparts varies geographically from pale gray to pale pink to rosy red. Females are mostly gray-brown with a reddish tint to the underparts and a pale undertail. Generally uncommon in woodland, grassland, and thickets, often near water. Sometimes mixes with other waxbills. The female is similar to other female firefinches, but is separated by its combination of a pale undertail and dark bill. The common calls are soft, repeated whistles.
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