. St Helena waxbill
|This page is Sponsored By:
Your Name, Your Address
Refer to "Advertise on web" web page
|We specialise in xxxxxxxx birds / product
Contact us on: (0X) XXXX XXXX
or e-mail us @ .............
- Scientific Name: Estrilda astrild
- Common Name/s:
SAINT HELENA WAXBILL, SAINT HELENA FINCH, COMMON WAXBILL.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- Origin / Distribution:
Island of St Helena. Most of Middle and Southern Africa
- Habitat In Wild: Has one of
the widest distributions of the African waxbills and occupy an
equally diverse habitat range always around water source. Have adapted to farmlands and
- Status In Wild: Varies
according to the sub-species.
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: ?
- Adult plumage: attained at about
- Best breeding years (estimate):
12 months - 5th year.
- Lifespan (estimate): approx. 7
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: Yes
- Availability: Pet shops & bird
- Temperament: Usually non
aggressive and are good in a mixed colony in a planted aviary.
Used by breeders of Pin tailed Whydahs to raise the young Pin tailed
Whydahs. The Pin tailed lay their eggs in St Helena nests.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $50
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 110 - 120 mm (or approx. 4
- 4.5 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 9 gms (or approx. 1/3 oz)
notes on "Finches - Non Australian" web page
and use in conjunction with details
outlined on this page.
Level Of Knowledge Required:
Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.
Government Regulations &
By-Laws: Refer to "Government Laws"
Click on "Housing birds"
web page for general details on the housing
of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.
In the wild they congregate in large
groups during the non breeding season. In an aviary they are
usually kept in a colony by the breeders of Pin
tailed Whydahs. They prefer an aviary with tall grasses and dense
Can be housed in a planted aviary as a
single pair in a mixed finch collection, as a colony of St Helena's, or even
as one pair in a "budgie or canary" cage about 600 - 1000mm long x 500mm
wide x 500mm deep (24 - 40 x 20 x 20 inches). In the wild they feed on the ground and in
the aviary they also spend a lot of time on the floor of the aviary
Diet / Feeding:
Click on "Feeding birds"
web page for general details on the
nutrition of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this
Natural diet includes seeds of a wide
range of grasses as well as insects.
They require a good quality finch seed mix, seeding grasses
and some green leafy vegetables such as silverbeet or endive. Live food is beneficial
during the non breeding season and essential during the breeding season.
Small mealworms, small crickets and other small insects can be offered. Sprouted
or soaked seed if available.
Fruit is not usually consumed by these
birds but may do so if they are housed with birds that eat fruits.
Basic seed mix should include Canary
seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.
A basic overview only.
- Roosting nest: Yes / No
- Nesting months: Spring
to early autumn
- Nesting receptacles: Will build a nest in a shrub or dry
brush. Equally it will build a nest in a wide variety of
artificial nests. In a breeding cage they will use a half open wooden nest
- Nest: Both parents
build a dome shaped nest
with a downward sloping entrance tunnel. The nest is about
150mm (about 6 inches) in diameter and made of grasses.
Grasses of up to 200mm (8 inches) in length are used. Nest is lined with feathers and soft
fine grasses. The nest may have two levels with the
top smaller cavity being used by the cock bird.
- Who incubates the eggs:
Hen / cock / both share.
Both share incubation during the day but only the hen incubates at
Nests are generally built at the low to
medium height level in the aviary. Parent birds generally reuse the nest
for subsequent clutches. Adequate new nest material must be
available for the birds to refurbish the old nest or build a new nest
for the next clutch.
To maximize the survival rate of the
young, the nest should be built in the covered section of the aviary.
The parent birds generally good parents
with a high fledging rate.
Some birds will have large clutches of
young and allowing the adult birds to raise more than 3 clutches per
season may result in the birds having a poor subsequent season.
The parent birds generally maintain good
nest hygiene by removing the faeces sac from the nest.
More details on finch nests
and a selection of finch nest photos
can be located on the "nests", "finch nests"
and "finch nest photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "nests" then
"finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in
the navigation bars.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year 3 - 4. Eggs per nest 3 - 7. Incubation
approx. 12 - 14 days. Fledge approx. 3 weeks.
Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks, some need 5 weeks. The young may return to the nest for
about one week after fledging.
Can be bred as a single pair in a large canary style cage but results
may not be as good as in an aviary.
Hens should be allowed to mature fully
before they start to breed. Best results are obtained if the hen
is about 12 months of age prior to laying. The short delay of
about 3 months while the birds fully mature, can be
made up by more reliable parenting skills and better productivity in future years.
Due to the nest design, nest inspection is not easy but a moderate
number of inspections are generally tolerated especially with birds housed
in cages. In an aviary it is generally safe to leave the young in
the same aviary as their parents after they become independent. Young birds (when
they become fully independent) must be removed when bred in a "budgie or
canary" style cage.
Some breeders separate the hens from the cock birds during the
non-breeding season. After the separation, the hens can easily be
paired up with a different partner for the next breeding season.
Pin tailed Whydah uses the St. Helena
Waxbill nest to lay its eggs. The St. Helena Waxbills then
incubate the eggs and raise the young.
A closed metal leg ring will be
necessary to accurately record the genetic background of each bird
especially if colour mutations are being bred.
Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be
covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be
attempted here. Refer "Specific References" as listed below and
"General References" listings.
Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control and Quarantine
requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to
require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web
site. Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues"
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
Refer to references listed on "Book
References" web page.
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 58 No. 9 Sept 2004
- A/A Vol 55 No. 3 Mar 2001 Page 61-63 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 54 No. 11 Nov 2000 Page 245-248
- A/A Vol 54 No. 5 May 2000 Page 100-104
- A/A Vol 53 No. 1
Jan 1999 Page 18-20.
- A/A Vol 51 No. 1 Jan 1997 Page 9-13
- A/A Vol 44 No. 7 July 1990 Page 162-165
- A/A Vol 34 No. 10 Oct 1980 Page 195-197
- A/A Vol 27 No. 4
Jun 1973 Page 49-50
- A/A Vol 23 No 12 Dec 1969 Page
169-176 (Inc photos).
- A/A Vol 19 No 5 May 1965 Page 76.
- A/A Vol 17 No 4 Apr 1963 Page 60-61.
- A/A Vol 13 No 8 Aug 1959 Page 114, 124.
- A/A Vol 13 No 3 Mar 1959 Page 48-49, 50.
- A/A Vol 13 No 1 Jan 1959 Page 27.
- A/A Vol 11 No 7 Jul 1957 Page 97-99.
- A/A Vol 7 No 7 Jul 1953 Page 87-88.
- A/A Vol 6 No 1 Jan 1952 Page 4-5.
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 6 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 1993 Page 346-348
Top of - St Helena waxbill- Page