Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Black-tailed Waxbill (Estrilda perreini)


French: Astrild à queue noire German: Schwarzschwanz-Schönbürzelastrild Spanish: Estrilda colinegra
Other common names: Grey Waxbill

Fringilla Perreini


, 1817,

Malimbe, Cabinda, Angola


Proposed races torrida (described from Inhaminga, in C Mozambique) and poliogastra (from Inhambane, in S Mozambique) treated as synonyms of incana. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. p. perreini (Vieillot, 1817) – S Gabon, S Congo, S & E DRCongo, Angola, Zambia, S Tanzania and N Malawi.
  • E. p. incana Sundevall, 1850 – S Malawi, E Zimbabwe, C & S Mozambique, N & E South Africa (mainly E KwaZulu-Natal) and E Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–11 cm; 6·1–9 g (incana). Male nominate race is mostly pearly grey above and below; black streak from lores through eye, red rump and... read more


    Contact call a thin explosive "pseeu pseeu" whistle at 4·5 kHz, rising to steady pitch... read more


    Open woodland with scattered trees and grass, edge of lowland and middle-altitude evergreen forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small grass seeds, seeds of stinging nettles (of genus Laportea); also insects, nectar, fruits of marula (Sclerocarya birrea... read more


    Breeds late in rains: Jan and Apr in S DRCongo (Katanga), Dec–May in Zambia, Feb and Apr in Malawi, Jan–Apr in Zimbabwe, and... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon. Uncommon to scarce in NW of range in Gabon and PRCongo; fairly common in S DRCongo. Uncommon and local in Zambia, very... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Black-tailed Waxbill (Estrilda perreini). 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).