The estrildid finches are smallpasserine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They can be classified as the familyEstrildidae (weaver-finch), or as a sub-group within the family Passeridae, which also includes the true sparrows. They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but vary widely in plumage colours and pattern.
Most are sensitive to coldand require a warm, usuallytropical, habitat, althougha few have adapted to thecooler climates of southernAustralia.The smallest species of thefamily is the Fernando PoOliveback (Nesocharisshelleyi) at a mere 8.3 cm(3.3 inches), although thelightest species is the Black-
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