Swee Waxbill | Coccopygia melanotis

Robert's Birding Information: Swee Waxbill

The Swee Waxbill is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Estrildidae bird family group which includes birds such as Waxbills, Firefinches, Twinspots.

The description for the Swee Waxbill (Latin name Coccopygia melanotis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Coccopygia melanotis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 850 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1044. You will find a picture of the Swee Waxbill on page 1057.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

The Latin name for this bird is Estrilda melanotis in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Swee Waxbill is known in Afrikaans as Suidelike Swie.

The Swee Waxbill is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Coccopygia melanotis can be found in other parts of the world.

The Swee Waxbill has a height of 10 cms and weighs around 8 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Coccopygia melanotis has a white coloured throat, black legs and a grey, white coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Coccopygia melanotis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is white.

Back is grey, white.

Swee Waxbill Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Coccopygia melanotis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Swee Waxbill Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Swee Waxbill is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 3 to 9 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Swee Waxbill is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

It is also seen in flocks.