Blue Waxbill

Uraeginthus angolensis

Blue Waxbills inhabit savannas, woodlands and gardens with easily accessible water sources. They feed mostly on grass-seeds, and to a lesser extent insects like termites. They are normally seen in pairs or small groups, though larger flocks do occur. At night they prefer roosting in the top of a tall thorn tree. They will also often mix with other kinds of small seed-eaters.

These small birds (8-13g) breed almost throughout the year, with a peak in summer after good rains. Both sexes construct the oval-shaped grass-nest, normally in a thorny tree and near wasp nests. Sometimes they’ll take over disused nests built by other species and adapt it to their requirements. Both parents incubate the clutch of 2-7 eggs, which hatch in less than 2 weeks, and feed the chicks on seeds and insects until they fledge and become independent within 3 – 5 weeks.

The Blue Waxbill occurs commonly from South Africa to Angola in the northwest and Tanzania in the northeast, and is listed as being of least concern by the IUCN. In South Africa it is found from Kwazulu-Natal and the Free State nothwards and is one of the most populous species in these parts, probably numbering in the hundreds of thousands at least. The species is exploited for the pet trade to a limited extent.

 

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27 thoughts on “Blue Waxbill

  1. JANE

    My reaction matches those made by the folks who commented ahead of me. The colors of this little bird are striking. Oh my, sad to hear they might be part of the pet store trade…

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  2. Ladybuggz

    We have Cedar Waxwings, I saved one one year and kept it until I could find a bird sanctuary to take it too. I fed it with a red straw and It became attached to it. It got out one day,flying into the tree’s,but all I had to do was show the straw and he flew back to me. I only had him a few days and was so happy he got a chance to become a wild bird!

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  3. John

    It´s really a beautiful little bird. I like the colors it have. As you say, not just this bird, but most of the small colorful and beautiful bird is used in pet trade. My personal opinion is that no wildlife should be kept in captivity. They who´s already is in captivity can´t be released, they can´t manage them self, so they must stay, Unfortunately. I had a corn snake for many years ago. When i bought it I thought that it can not be wild again, and in that time I worked as a travel mechanic, so I could not have a “usually” pet, and a snake don´t need to eat every week, just it have fresh water.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      As you say, John, we have to make a distinction between animals bred in captivity and those caught from the wild. Unfortunately the practice of catching wild animals for the pet trade continues to this day, which threatens their wild populations even more, and that’s not even counting the number that dies before they even reach the stores.

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