Estrilda astrild - The Common Waxbill

The common waxbill is a small, grey-brown waxbill with a red eye stripe and bill with a pinkish-red belly. If you look closely, the common waxbill has finely barred upper-parts and flanks. Females have less red markings on the belly while juveniles are duller with less striped plumage and black beaks.

Did you know? The Afrikaans name for the Common Waxbill is Rooibeksysie.

The Common Waxbill also called Rooibeksysysie ("rooibek" translated is 'red beak' in Afrikaans) is a small passerine bird belonging to the estrildid finch family.

Quick Facts

Size

Length: 11 to 13 cm.
Weight: 7 to 19 gms.
Wingspan: 12 to 14 cm.

Habitat

A common resident in long grass, reeds and scrub, often found near water in marshes and among reeds. Waxbills are common in domestic gardens throughout South Africa.

Distribution

As their name implies, the are common all over southern and South Africa.

Diet

Their primary diet consists of grass seeds but small insects are also favoured by the Rooibeksysie.

Socialisation

They congregate in groups of 20 to 40 during the days and forage in flocks which may contain hundreds of birds. They are monogamous birds mating with only one partner.

Reproduction

Four to seven white eggs are laid. They are incubated for 11 to 13 days and the young birds fledge 17 to 21 days after hatching. Both parents take part in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks. The timing of the breeding season varies in different parts of the world. In captivity they may breed up to four times a year.

Incubation

Incubation lasts for 11 to 12 days.

Life Expectancy

4 years in the wild.

Predators

Mice and snakes.

References

ADW; Sasol's "Birds of Southern Africa", Fourth Edition

Wish you were here?

The Bay Hotel

  • Property TypeHotel
  • Guests22
  • Rooms/Units11
View and book

Where to see Common Waxbill in their natural habitat?

Want to see common waxbill in their natural habitat? In South Africa the common waxbill can be seen in public and private gardens, botanical gardens, nature reserves and parks throughout the country including...

Conservation Status
Common Waxbill
Least
concern
Kruger Park's Big 6 Birds

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.