The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They can be classified as the family Estrildidae (weaver-finch), or as a sub-group within the family Passeridae, which also includes the true sparrows.
|Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis)|
They live in flocks 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.
All the estrildids build large domed nests and lay 5–10 white eggs. Many species build roost nests. Some of the fire-finches and pytilias are hosts to the brood-parasitic indigobirds and whydahs respectively.
Most are sensitive to cold and require a warm, usually tropical, habitat, although a few have adapted to the cooler climates of southern Australia.