Violet eared Waxbill
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Violet eared waxbill
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  • Scientific Name: Uraeginthus granatina
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: possibly 2
  • Origin / Distribution: Southern portion of Africa
  • Habitat In Wild: Lightly treed areas that include acacia and thorn bush.
  • Status In Wild: ?
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: About 12 months.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about  3 - 4 months  
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 2nd - 5th.
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 6 - 7 years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations: None
  • Availability: Specialist breeders
  • Temperament: Should be kept as single pairs.  Can be bred in a planted aviary or in a canary style breeding cages.  Cock birds can be aggressive to other cock birds.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $2000
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 145 - 150 mm (or approx 6 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 15 - 18 gms (or approx 1/2 oz)
Aviary Notes:

Read 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" web page.

Housing Requirements:  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.

May be kept with other finches but with their rarity in Australian aviaries it would be best to give each pair an aviary of their own.

Violet eared waxbills are commonly bred indoors in cabinets (canary style cages).  They are from a hot dry environment so when bred indoors, the temperature, humidity and lighting can be regulated to optimize their natural wild environment and hopefully maximize the breeding results.  Optimal environment should also help keep the birds in top condition and health.  They can be kept in an outdoor aviary.  They like tall grasses, small bamboo plants and shrubs in their aviary.

Should not be housed with Cordon Bleu species to avoid the possibility of hybridization.

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 finch.

Good quality finch mix, seeding grasses, some fruits (e.g. apple) and some green leafy vegetables.  Live food is essential especially during the breeding season.  Mealworms, small crickets, aphids, small cockroaches and small locusts can be offered.  Sprouted or soaked seed if available.

Basic seed mix should include Canary seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:  Spring to late summer.
  • Nesting receptacles:  Will build a nest in a shrub or dry brush.  Equally it will build a nest in a variety of artificial nests including half open nest boxes.
  • Nest:  Both parents build a domed nest with a side entrance out of grasses and other suitable materials.  Nest is lined with feathers and soft fine grasses.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

Nest is usually at the mid to high level in the aviary.  Parents usually build a new nest for each new clutch.  Adequate spare nest receptacles must be available for pairs nesting in artificial nests before the current clutch leave the nest.  Adequate new nest material must be available for the birds to build a new nest for the next clutch.

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.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year ..  Eggs per nest  3 - 6.  Incubation  approx.  13 days.  Fledge approx.  21 days.  Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks.

Birds can be "paired-up" at about 3 months of age and allowed to commence breeding at about 12 months of age.

To maximize production, the eggs can be removed and placed under Bengalese Finches and allow the hens to lay another clutch.  When raised by Bengalese they are usually successfully when the Bengalese use live food.  If they are fostered under Bengalese, be sure to remove the young as soon as they have become fully independent and place them with their own species.

If Bengalese are to be used as foster parents to raise birds that have live foods as a dietary requirement, add live food to the foster parent birds and monitor which birds feed the live food to the baby birds.  Keep an accurate record of the birds that feed the best quantities of the live food to the babies.  Use these birds when one has to foster birds that have live foods as a significant portion of their preferred diet.  "Pairs" of two male Bengalese have been used successfully to raise foster birds.

Young should be removed from the parent birds as soon as they are fully independent so as to avoid possible aggression from a parent.

May be kept with other finches but with their rarity in Australian aviaries it would be best to give each pair an aviary of their own.

Violet eared waxbills will hybridize with the 3 Cordon Bleu species.

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.

Health Issues: 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" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 54 No. 5 May 2000 Page 100-104
  • A/A Vol 13 No 4 Apr 1959 Page 53-55 (Inc colour plate).
  • A/A Vol  5 No 1 Jan 1951 Page 12, 11.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 15 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 2003 Page 310-311.
  • ABK Vol 11 Issue 5. Oct-Nov 1998 Page 234-237

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