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Species Guide
A photo of a Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflava), male
Orange-breasted Waxbill, Male

Orange-breasted Waxbill

Amandava subflava

The Orange-breasted Waxbill, or Zebra Waxbill as it is sometimes known, is a diminutive bird, measuring a mere 9 centimeters in length. It is characterized by a reddish iris and a vibrant red bill, set against a backdrop of dark olive-green plumage. The male of the species is distinguished by a striking red rump, white flanks adorned with dark bars, and a scarlet eyebrow stripe, adding a dash of color to its appearance. In contrast, the female presents a more subdued palette and is slightly smaller in stature, lacking the male's vivid red eyebrow.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Orange-breasted Waxbill, look for the male's red rump and the unique scarlet eyebrow stripe. The bird's orange breast is a key feature, along with its red bill. The female can be recognized by her more muted tones and absence of the male's distinctive red markings.


This species thrives in grassland and savannah regions, where it can be found flitting about south of the Sahara in Africa.


The Orange-breasted Waxbill boasts a broad distribution, with an estimated global extent of occurrence spanning 10,000,000 square kilometers. Beyond its native range, the species has been introduced to other locales, including Kuwait.


The Orange-breasted Waxbill is known for its active demeanor, often seen in search of seeds, insects, and shoots which comprise its diet.


In the breeding season, the female typically lays a clutch of four to six eggs. The eggs are nestled within an oval-shaped nest, ingeniously crafted from grass. These nests are frequently repurposed abodes, originally constructed by the Red-collared Widowbird.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Orange-breasted Waxbill is primarily composed of seeds, supplemented by insects and shoots, which it forages for in its grassland habitat.

Conservation status

The Orange-breasted Waxbill is currently classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In Ghana, it is listed on Appendix III of CITES, reflecting a commitment to monitoring its trade to ensure sustainability.

Orange-breasted Waxbill Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Orange-breasted Waxbills on Birda


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A photo of a Plum-headed Finch (Aidemosyne modesta) , male

Plum-headed Finch

Aidemosyne modesta
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