Instagram | @shane_doyle_photography

Sweet Little Blue Waxbills Display An Uncommonly Lovely Powder-Blue Hue

Amy Pilkington 12 Sep 2020

Sometimes when I'm searching for new and interesting birds to write about, I need to dig a bit for a good photo or two. Sometimes the most amazing birds simply aren't as photogenic as others.

Other times, a special little bird catches my eye with an amazing photo and when I look deeper, I find that there are a ton of incredible images to choose from.

Obviously, the blue waxbill is one of the latter.

Instagram | @dr.manoj.c.sindagi_photography

Somehow, the unusual powder-blue mixed with the light golden brown is a particularly striking combination.

They are known by a number of names, such as the southern cordon-bleu, but that reminds me of food.

Load Comments

Which makes me uncomfortable when talking about a lovely little bird like this one.

Instagram | @eonbade

They are named for their shiny beaks, which are grayish-blue with hints of pink.

Both males and females have the distinct blue feathers, but for females it stops around the chest area. For males, the blue extends under their belly and onto their rump.

Load Comments

Blue waxbills are native to Southern Africa, with at least three identified subspecies.

Instagram | @ladzinski

For example, in southern Tanzania, some males have been spotted with red patches on their ears, presumably due to interbreeding with the red-cheeked cordon-bleu.

Load Comments

They prefer grassland habitats and partially cultivated land, nesting near places where drinking water is available.

Instagram | @simonlee8808

They eat mostly grain, seeds, and millets, but will supplement insects for protein to grow strong babies.

Mostly friendly with other birds and humans, they get super territorial when nesting.

h/t: eBird, The Beauty of Birds

Load Comments
Next Article