Waxbills in Singapore

posted in: Exotics, Species | 0

Waxbills are estrildid finches (Family: Estrildidae) native to the Old World. These are small and brightly coloured songbirds, popularly sought after as cage birds.

“A few months ago, if you ask anyone about the waxbills in Singapore, you will at best be taken to the nearest bird shops,” wrote Francis Yap, an avid birder-photographer. “Back in February 2011, I managed to photograph an escapee, the Crimson-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda rhodopyga) (above left) and posted it here LINK.

One month later Francis encountered another species, the Common Waxbill (E. astrild) (above right). Then the Orange-cheeked Waxbill (E. melpoda) (below left), followed by the Black-rumped Waxbill (E. troglodytes) (below right).

“Waxbills are African in origin and are brought here by the bird trade. There are many who keep them as pets and subsequently some of these birds escape. Then there are those who were released during certain religious festivals. All these mean that more than a few waxbills make it out to the wild. And when they do, they become photographic subjects,” added Francis.

“From another angle, their presence in the wild here threatens the local grassland bird species as they disturb the prevailing ecological balance, but that’s another story…”

Francis Yap
July 2011

This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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