; class Aves, order Passeriformes)
A varied family of small, brightly coloured finches that have rounded wings, medium to short tails, small to large, short, conical bills, and strong feet. They are gregarious, inhabit forests, grassland, and desert, feed on seeds and insects, and build an enclosed nest with a side entrance, usually in trees. Nestlings have decorated palates and tongues. Lonchura striata (Bengalese finch), commonly kept in captivity, is bred in a variety of plumages. Amandava amandava (red munia) is the only estrildid with a dull non-breeding plumage. There are 27 genera, with 138 species, most of which are popular cage birds, found in Africa, southern Asia, Australasia, and Pacific Ocean islands.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.