SCIENTIFIC NAME: Estrilda melpoda
The Orange-cheeked Waxbill is a small, slender finch with bright orange cheeks and lores, and a rosy bill.
It is about 4 inches in length and weight of approximately 7 grams. Males usually have brighter orange patches on the abdomen.
Immature birds are muted, brown-and- beige version of the adults. Bill is black, as in other immature waxbills.
CALL: Include a high, thin squeaking “zwee” and a snappy "chi-de-chi".
SONG: A sort and truncated series of whistles.
Small green and ripe millets form their primary seed diet. They enjoy spray millet and fresh fruits and vegetables as well.
Found in open grassland with light tree and/or shrub coverage, also along watercourses, in gardens and cultivated fields. They are also commonly found in dry savannah habitats.
Native to Africa; introduced to Japan, Spain, the Hawaiian Islands, and parts of the Caribbean.
Nest is built close to or directly on the ground in tangled clumps of tall grass. It is made of grass stems, old seed heads (panicles) which helps camouflage the structure. Interior is lined with fine white feathers.
The female lays 3 - 6 tiny white eggs. Eggs are incubated for 13 days. Fledglings leave the nest after around 23 days looking similar to their parents but sporting duller orange ear coverts for the first few months.