Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Lavender Waxbill (Estrilda coerulescens)


French: Astrild queue-de-vinaigre German: Lavendelastrild Spanish: Estrilda azulada

Fringilla cœrulescens


, 1817,



Species name previously listed as caerulescens, but original spelling recently confirmed by magnifying original text#R. Monotypic.


Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, N Guinea and S Mali (upper R Niger) E to N Nigeria, N Cameroon, S Chad and N Central African Republic. Introduced in Hawaiian Is.

Descriptive notes

10 cm; 8–15·1 g. Male is mostly pearly grey above and below; black streak from lores through eye, red rump and uppertail-coverts, outermost pair of rectrices... read more


Calls high, piping, at constant pitch and thin in tone, "see-see-squee-see"; female... read more


Thickets and thicket edge, extending into woodland, rank patches on more open land, rocky hillsides... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes small seeds of grasses, small fruits, and flowers (pollen and nectar), and also some insects. Forages in pairs and small... read more


Breeds in Aug–Sept rains in Senegal and Gambia and in Oct–Nov in Nigeria. Male takes slender stem of grass, flies to perch,... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to scarce. Outside normal range recorded also in Liberia, where said to have been rare on Mt Nimba during 1967/68. In Ivory Coast,... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Lavender Waxbill (Estrilda coerulescens). 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 16 December 2019).