Family Waxbills
Habitat Brushy, overgrown fields, woodland edges, and other dense low growth, often near water.
Native to southern Asia, this small waxbill is a popular cagebird. Escapees from captivity have established wild populations in several parts of the world. The species is now widespread and common in coastal California, from San Jose to San Diego, and other local populations are established around Houston, Texas, at a few spots farther east along the Gulf Coast, and in southern Florida. Usually seen in flocks.

Feeding Behavior

Forages in flocks, usually in dense low growth or on the ground. May climb along grass stems to reach seed heads.


3-5 eggs, white, unmarked. Incubation is by both sexes, about 14 days. Young: Fed by both parents. Leave the nest after about 18 days.


Mostly seeds, also some berries and insects.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

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Songs and Calls

High whistles and twitters.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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