Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild) Bico-de-lacre

Common Waxbills originate in sub-Saharan Africa but have been "wild" in Portugal since the 1960's.

They're very small and seldom seen on their own, moving in small flocks with a straight flight and rapid wing-beats, feeding on the ground or in reeds rarely higher than two mts from the ground. The adults are unmistakeable, with a bright red beak, eye-mask and belly contrasting with a white bib and cheek and horizontal grey barring over the rest of the body, while the juveniles lack the red beak, belly and eye-mask, these instead being black.

They nest on the ground in thick cover, usually near or in stands of bamboo and along water-courses. It is reported that they weave predator faeces into their nest which apparently repels other predators.



Birding in Portugal

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