The Black-cheeked Waxbill (Estrildia erythronotos) is a beautiful 4½” waxbill with a long 2″ tail. Found in South Africa, it has been rarely imported into the U.S. The upperparts are a smoky-mauve color with the wings showing many narrow bars of alternating lighter and darker shades than the general upperparts. The tail is black above and grayish-black on the underside. The rump is a dull and subdued red which reaches around to brighten the smoky undersides especially and, to a lesser degree, on the abdomen. The chest also shows an almost hidden trace of dull rose-mauve color. A large blackish cheek patch starts from the lores, stretches like a long eyebrow past the eyes, and dips downwards to cover the entire cheek area. The beak is mostly black, but the base is mostly a pearl-gray. The feet are black. The males are slightly bolder and darker, the chest is a mauve, the belly and vent feathers are black. The hen’s chest, lower belly and vent feathers are all mauve.
A 50/50 finch seed and wild seed is ideal. They also appreciate soaked finch seed, egg food, fresh greens, vegetables and mealworms. Fruit flies and their larvae are essential to breed these birds successfully.