Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Violet-eared Waxbill (Granatina granatina)


French: Cordonbleu grenadin German: Granatastrild Spanish: Granadero meridional
Other common names: Common Grenadier

Fringilla granatina


, 1766,

Brazil; error = Angola


Birds from near Okahandja, in C Namibia, described as race siccata, and others from near Panda, in Inhambane district of Mozambique, as race retusa, appear to differ little from those elsewhere in species’ range. Treated as monotypic.


S Angola, SW Zambia and Zimbabwe S to Namibia, Botswana, N South Africa (S to N Northern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga) and S Mozambique.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 9·5-13·9 g. Male has forehead to superciliary region deep blue, crown rich chestnut, grading to paler rufous-brown on back and upperwing-coverts; rump... read more


Contact call "tsek"; excitement or threat call "chay chay chay"; nest call by... read more


Acacia (Acacia) savanna and thorn thickets, Terminalia woodland, Bauhinia... read more

Food and feeding

Small seeds of grasses and of the forb common purslane (Portulaca olearacea), fruits of small trees, nectar of aloes (Aloe... read more


Breeding records, from a few weeks after first rains into dry season: in Botswana Dec–Jul (mainly Feb–Apr), in Zambia Dec... read more


Resident, with local movements. In South Africa (North West Province and Free State), ringed... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common; nowhere very numerous. Estimated population in excess of 5000 individuals in S Mozambique (in inland Sul do Save). In N South Africa... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Violet-eared Waxbill (Granatina granatina). 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 25 January 2020).