Illini Bird Fanciers, Inc.
Greenwing Macaw     Moluccan Cockatoo     Orange-cheeked Waxbill     Orange-winged Amazon     Timneh African Grey    

Orange-cheeked Waxbill

Common Names: Orange-cheeked Waxbill Finch
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Estrilda melpoda
Native Range: Western and Central Africa [Map]
Habitat: Subtropical/tropical wet shrubland, open grassland with light tree/shrub coverage, watercourses
IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern
Size: Small 4 inches
Life Expectancy: 4 years
Noise Level: Soft

The natural habitat of the Orange-cheeked Waxbill is in grasslands and savannas of western Africa. They are often found along waterways, swamps, and along the edges of farmland. Orange-cheeks live in small flocks, and pair off in breeding season. The nest in the wild is pear-shaped and constructed of grass stems, often on, or close to, the ground. A 'cock 's nest' is often added. Orange-cheeks will build in suitable vegetation in a planted aviary, or they may use nest boxes or baskets where available. Artificial nest sites should be shielded by vegetation. Boston ferns are safe and work well. Orange-cheeks are highly likely to abandon a disturbed nest. A clutch consists of 4-6 white eggs, incubation is 12-13 days and hatched young will remain in the nest for up to three weeks. The young will become independent after about a further two weeks. Feeding should have a variety of small seeds available, for instance a good finch mix, wild seeds, maw, niger and millet sprays. Seeding grasses should be presented when available and small insects are taken keenly. During their time in the nest live food, such as mealworms, wax worms, and termites form a significant proportion of the diet of young birds.

Orange-cheeks are one of my favorite finches. The male's song is beautiful and amazing for his size of only 4 inches. They are happy social little birds .I am housing them in a mixed aviary with other small finches. I feed finch seed mix and live mealworms. I can't wait to see them build their nests. I am supplying them with little trees, grass, wicker nests and live foods .The hen has been picking up small blades of grass, flying over to the male and jumping straight up and down. I am so excited and will keeping records of all activity and as many photos as they permit. I am so lucky to share my home with these special little birds.

Greenwing Macaw     Moluccan Cockatoo     Orange-cheeked Waxbill     Orange-winged Amazon     Timneh African Grey    
Illini Bird Fanciers, Inc. • PO Box 13006, Springfield, IL 62971 • Tel (217) 623-4100 • contact@illinibirdfanciers.com
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