Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Black-crowned Waxbill (Estrilda nonnula)


French: Astrild nonnette German: Nonnenastrild Spanish: Estrilda monjita

Astrilda [sic] nonnula


, 1883,

Kudurma, South Sudan


Sometimes placed with E. atricapilla and E. kandti in a separate genus, Krimhilda. Nominate race of E. kandti may belong with present species; see remarks under that species. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. n. nonnula Hartlaub, 1883 – SE Nigeria (Mambilla and Obudu Plateaux, Gashaka-Gumti Game Reserve) and Cameroon E to NC & S Central African Republic, S South Sudan, Uganda and W Kenya, S to NW Gabon, N & E DRCongo (S to Itombwe Highlands) and NW Tanzania.
  • E. n. eisentrauti Wolters, 1964 – Mt Cameroon (W Cameroon).
  • E. n. elizae Alexander, 1903 – Bioko.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–10·5 cm; 6·5–8·5 g (nominate). Male nominate race has forehead and crown down to lores and eye black, nape grey; upperparts, including... read more


    Contact call a thin, high-pitched buzzy "tseee, sszee", often downslurred "tssseeew... read more


    Grassy secondary growth, grassy forest edges, neglected cultivation, farms and gardens. In W of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small grass seeds (especially Setaria), millet seeds; also flying termites (Isoptera) and possibly ants (Formicidae). Takes seeds... read more


    Season Sept–Nov in Cameroon, Jul–Nov in NE DRCongo (Ituri), and Mar–Oct (mainly Apr–May) in Uganda. Courting male,... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common in W of range; generally common in E of range; very common to abundant in some places. Record from C Benin in (B... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Black-crowned Waxbill (Estrilda nonnula). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).