The Red-Eared-Finch or Common Waxbill is an absolutely beautiful finch. This small bird is typically found in large flocks, sometimes numbering in the thousands. The Red-Eared-Finch feeds on grass seeds, fruit flies, and small worms.  Also known as the St. Helena Waxbill. St. Helena is a small island in the Southern Atlantic ocean.


The Red-Eared-Finch has gray-brown upperparts, lower breast, and belly. Fine barring on back, wings, sides, lower breast, belly and tail. White cheeks, throat, and upper breast. Rosy-pink patch on belly. A bright red mask surrounds eye and extends to where the ears are hence the name Red-Eared-Finch.  They have a reddish-orange bill. The underside of the tail is black. Black legs and feet. Sexes similar and difficult to distinguish.  An immature bird is similar to adult, but is duller, has brown undertail coverts, and sometimes lacks red eye mask.  The Red-Eared-Finch is very small an dainty at 4 inches (11cm) in length.


Open grassland, farmland, cultivated fields, marshes, and grassy clearings in forests. Native to tropical and southern Africa.



Red-Eared-Finch lay 4-5 white eggs in a brood. The eggs have a 13 day incubation period. Fledging usually occurs in 20 days. The nest is a small globe of woven grass. It is built in a stand of grass or a short, dense shrub.