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Common Waxbill | Estrilda astrild

The Common 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 Common Waxbill (Latin name Estrilda astrild) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Estrilda astrild can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 846 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1051. You will find a picture of the Common 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.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Common Waxbill is known in Afrikaans as Rooibeksysie.

The Common Waxbill has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 8 gms. The head is coloured grey, brown while the bill is coloured red. The Estrilda astrild has a grey coloured throat, pink legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

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, brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is red

Legs are pink

Throat is grey

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

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

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Common 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 2 to 4 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 foligae.

The Common 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 found in the African bushveld

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Common Waxbill is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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