Common Waxbill

Estrilda astrid




Estrildid Finches (Estrildidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

4 - 7

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In cavity, in low dense vegetation.

Nest Material:






Common Waxbill: Small finch that is mostly brown-gray with red on the belly and a red stripe from lores back to above ear coverts; bill is red-orange, legs and feet are black, has faint barring on upperparts and flanks; wings are short; tail medium in length. Female is similar but underparts are less pink, belly patch smaller, vent and undertail coverts brown-gray, bill is black. Juvenile is like adult, underparts more buff, pink in mid-line, red eye stripe is paler and narrow, feather barring less intense, white swellings at gape.

Range and Habitat

Common Waxbill: Breeds in open, grassy areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Several populations have also become established in other parts of the world including Hawaii. First reported on the island of Oahu in the late 1970s, it has spread to other islands. Most populations are resident although some make local movements in search of seeding grasses.

Breeding and Nesting

Common Waxbill: These finches are monogamous. Four to seven eggs are placed in a round nest made of grass and with an entrance tube at the bottom. The nest is placed in a cavity in low, dense vegetation. The eggs are incubated by both sexes for 11 to 13 days. Fledging takes 17 to 21 days, and during this time both parents feed and care for the chicks.

Foraging and Feeding

Common Waxbill: These waxbills are granivores, feeding on seeds from pasture grasses and millets, fruit flies and small worms. They forage in flocks of two to twenty during the day, feeding mostly in the early morning and late afternoon. They either perch on the panicle while plucking seeds or pull the panicle to the ground. Seed removal is done with the bill in both cases.


Common Waxbill: Short song of two dry notes followed by two longer, nasal notes. Contact call is a sharp "jip." Contact call song is two to three sharp notes, followed by a bubbling sound, "ti-cket please!" or "di-di-di-JEEE".

Similar Species

Common Waxbill: Java Sparrow is darker gray and has white patch on side of head.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Also called commissure, it is the hinge where the mandibles meet.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X