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common name for small, brightly colored weaver finches of the Estrildini tribe of the family Estrildidae. Most are African with the exception of two S Asian species of avadavats, and one Australian species (Estrilda temporalis), which may not properly belong in this group. Considerable adaptive radiation may be seen in the African species, which include a number of small seedeaters such as the lavender finch (E. subflava); larger seedeaters such as the bluebills (genus Spermophaga); large-headed and large-billed species (genus Pirenestes); the arboreal, insect-catching Negro finches (genus Nigrita); and the tiny, short-billed, omnivorous flower-pecker finch (Parmoptila woodhousei). Timid, social birds, waxbills are typically found in small flocks but may sometimes descend upon a field en masse. They tend to form stable, long-lasting pairs, and both mates share in nesting, incubation, and the care of the offspring. Their pure white eggs number from 4 to 10 per clutch. Their young are curiously marked on palate and tongue; a five-dot, domino pattern on the palate is common and is displayed by the nestlings when begging for food. Waxbills are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Estrildidae.
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Operation Waxbill cracking down on alleged 'puppy farms', conducted by Durham police and the RSPCA at addresses in the North East
As bait in each nest, he added two market finch eggs about the same size as a waxbill's.
The waxbills then bring home lumps of excreted fur to tuck into the walls of their nests.
He's seen waxbills take their latest scat haul and dunk it in a stream before carrying the wad home.
Values for other species of similar size, such as the Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus (283 s/m, Chaplin 1982) and the Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes (210 s/m, Weathers and Nagy 1984), are 30-80% higher than our values.
Daily energy expenditure and water flux in Black-rumped Waxbills, Estrilda troglodytes.
? A scaly-breasted bulbul (top) and orange-cheeked waxbills are among species given a safe home by Chester Zoo after being rescued from the illegal wildlife trade
The finches studied here have variously been called waxbills, grass finches, manikins, munias, etc.
Sushkin (1927) concluded that the waxbills were most closely related to the whydahs (Vidua), but belonged as a subfamily in the Ploceidae.
Data is collected on birds including babblers, thrushes, warblers, sunbirds, doves, flycatchers, waxbills and broadbills.
Parrotbills; Rockfowl; Rhabdornis; Tits and Chickadees; Penduline Tits; Larks; Old World Sparrows; Waxbills; Wagtails and Pipits; Accentors.