The Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild) is a small, red-beaked bird from the passerine finch family across southern Africa.
It has grey and brown feathers with a red eye-stripe and beak, with a pink-red stomach. Females have less red markings.
The Common Waxbill grows to 13 centimetres (5 inches).
They love long grass and are found near water. They are often seen in people’s gardens.
They feed on grass seeds and small insects.
The Common Waxbill lives in groups of 20-40 birds, called a flock.
They choose a partner for life. They are monogamous.
Females lay 4-7 white eggs are laid. They are incubated for 11-13 days and the young birds fledge about 21 days after hatching. Both parents take part in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.
Mice and snakes like to eat them. They live for about 4 years in the wild.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM