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Black-crowned Waxbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Tom Tarrant
Bigodi Swamp, Uganda, December 2005
Estrilda nonnula



  • Black lores and forehead to crown and nape
  • Ash-grey back and wing coverts, finely barred dark grey or black
  • Deep crimson rump and upper tail coverts
  • Black tail rounded at the tip
  • White face
  • Greyish tinge on sides of breast, lower breast and flanks
  • Undertail coverts tinged grey
  • Small crimson patch on lower flanks
  • Bill patterned in light red and black on both mandibles

Female - similar to male

  • Slightly greyer brown mantle with less distinct barring
  • White parts are usually more suffused with grey particularly in vent area.


Western Africa: Guinea, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania
African Islands: Gulf of Guinea Islands, Bioko (Fernando Po) Western-central Africa.


There are 3 subspecies:

  • E. n. nonnula:
  • E. n. elizae:
  • E. n. eisentrauti:


Jungle edges, papyrus swamps and gardens.



The diet includes grass seeds, termites and buds.


The nest is usually placed in a bush or tree, between one and six metres high. There may be several nests in the same tree. It has a short entrance tunnel; it is lined with feathers and other fine material. The clutch of 4-6 eggs is incubated by both adults for up to 13 days. The young fledge between 20 and 22 days.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase
  3. BF Member observations
  4. Waxbill Finch Society

Recommended Citation

External Links