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Orange-cheeked Waxbill - BirdForum Opus

Estrilda melpoda
Photo © by Scottishdude
Location:The Gambia, March, 2010


Red beak, orange "cheeks" which extend over the eyes, dark blue-grey on top of head, light grey under chin, light brown-grey chest, cream lower belly, dark brown back and wings, crimson tail coverts, black tail, yellow streak across the vent area (creamy yellow in hens, deep yellow-orange in cocks). Juveniles look like the adults but with subdued markings.


Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Zambia. Introduced populations are found in California and Australia.


Estrilda melpoda has two subspecies:1

  • E. m. melpoda
  • E. m. tschadensis


Dry savanna and subtropical/tropical (lowland) wet shrubland habitats.


Timid, nervous, energetic, may be a little aggressive while breeding. The song is a light jingling of notes and may vary among individuals.


  1. Clements JF. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2007. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019

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