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.