Black-faced Waxbill

Estrilda erythronotos

The Black-faced Waxbill is a tiny finch (12cm in length and weighing only about 10g), living in dry, thorny savannas with ready access to reliable waterholes and perennial streams. They feed mainly on seeds, supplementing their dietary intake with small invertebrates, berries, flowers and nectar.

Black-faced Waxbills are usually seen in pairs or small groups. During the breeding season, which peaks in late summer, pairs hold small territories and build together at the ball-shaped grass-nest, which has a long entrance tunnel at the bottom, well hidden in the tops of thorny trees. Both parents incubate the clutch of 2-6 eggs, which hatch within two weeks. The chicks leave the nest when they’re about 3 weeks old and stay with their parents for another two weeks or so before becoming fully independent.

The Black-faced Waxbill occurs in two separate parts of Africa, the one in East Africa stretching from Tanzania to Somalia and the other in Southern Africa (mainly South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe extending marginally into Zambia and Angola). In our country specifically they are commonly found in the western half of Limpopo, the North West Province, Gauteng, the northwestern Free State and eastern reaches of the Northern Cape. The IUCN considers the Black-faced Waxbill to be of least concern.

14 thoughts on “Black-faced Waxbill

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Hierdie outjies is frustrerend moeilik om af te neem! Ons het elle lange tye langs hulle geparkeer gesit en gewag vir kanse wanneer hulle uit die bosse of lang gras hop, hulle van agter ander bosse bekruip, stil op een plek gehurk tot ons boude kramp en hierdie is maar al wat ek het om daarvoor te wys!
      En jy het gelyk, die ou blousysies is darem maar mooi. Hulle is nogal dikwels saam met hierdie outjies te siene waar hul verpreidings oorvleuel.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you very much, Anne. They’re tireless and shy and frustrating – even infuriating – to try and get a half decent photo of! These aren’t the best photographs I published on de West Wild by a long way, but I suppose they perfectly depict the Black-faced Waxbills demeanor if not appearance! 😀

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