Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Cinderella Waxbill (Estrilda thomensis)


French: Astrild de Sao Tomé German: Cinderellaastrild Spanish: Estrilda cenicienta

Estrelda thomensis


, 1888,

São Tomé, Gulf of Guinea


Was earlier referred to by name E. cinderella (described from Benguela, in W Angola), but present name has priority. Type specimen said to have come from São Tomé, but documentation uncertain; species not recorded there since, and presence at that time, if true, believed probably result of escape from captivity. Monotypic.


W Angola and extreme NW Namibia (R Cunene).

Descriptive notes

11 cm; 6·8-8·5 g. Male is mostly light pearly grey above and below; black streak from lores through eye, red rump and uppertail-coverts, black tail; belly sooty grey (... read more


Contact call a harsh "brrrt, brrrt", and more intense repeated version given in alarm;... read more


Riverine vegetation in acacia (Acacia) and mopane (Colophospermum mopane)... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on small grass seeds and other small seeds, and flowers (parts of plant or nectar); insects, including termites (Isoptera) and honey-... read more


Nest-building in late Nov and Dec, after first rains, in Namibia. Nest undescribed in wild; in captivity, builds large ball of grass and... read more


Resident in Angola; in Namibia moves after rain, in wet season absent or difficult to find.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (LEAST CONCERN). Restricted-range species: present in Western Angola EBA. Remapping of this species' distribution yielded a larger range than... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Cinderella Waxbill (Estrilda thomensis). 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 28 February 2020).