Common waxbill breeding

Common waxbill (Estrilda astrild) breeding. Indigenous to South Africa and these waxbills need a permit to breed in South Africa. Afrikaans name is Rooibekkie.

Distribution of the common waxbill:

These waxbills have the largest distribution range of all Estrildids in Africa. Their range extends from Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the west to Ethiopia and Kenya in the east and the south to the whole of South Africa with the exception of the arid waterless areas as they do need to have water every day.

Aviaries for common waxbills:

These birds are at their best in planted aviaries, especially if the aviary is big enough to house a small group of five to eight individuals. These birds are gregarious by nature and a little group of them in a large planted aviary do extremely well.

Because they are not aggressive birds they are easy to maintain in a mixed collection of small finches and waxbills. But do not make the mistake to have too many birds in a mixed collection. After a few years, there can be so many birds of all species in the aviary that all the plants and grasses are covered with faces and subsequently die off.

Plants and grasses attract small insects that can be instrumental in encouraging finches and waxbills to breed. Secondly, the plants and grasses then provide ample natural nesting sites.

Feeding of common waxbills for breeding:

They are very fond of small seeds, in keeping with their small size, they only weigh about 9g, so it comes as no surprise that their favorite dry seed should be manna, red or yellow, next came Japanese millet and white millet in order of preference.

Wild grass seed heads are an ideal food for waxbills and finches. These can be replaced with sprouted seeds when the wild grass seed heads are not available. All the mana’s and millets sprout easily and uniformly. Before the commencement of the breeding season, it is necessary to feed a supplement with protein, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.


The common waxbill is a delightful aviculture subject. Enjoy your birds for their sake and for yours. They are a great form of relaxation.

Content courtesy by David Dennison

Tip – I kept marine fishes at one stage and fed them bloodworms regularly. I read that in England, waxbills were bred successfully by giving them defrosted bloodworms instead
of using termites. It’s an easy alternative as bloodworms will be in the fridge at your local marine pet shop.

Content creator : Petrus A. van Tonder

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