Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-bellied Waxbill (Coccopygia quartinia)


French: Astrild à ventre jaune German: Gelbbauchastrild Spanish: Estrilda ventrigualda oriental
Other common names: Yellow-bellied Swee

E[strelda]. quartinia


, 1850,



See C. bocagei. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. q. quartinia (Bonaparte, 1850) – highlands of Eritrea and Ethiopia.
  • C. q. kilimensis Sharpe, 1890 – E DRCongo, extreme SE South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya S to C Tanzania.
  • C. q. stuartirwini (Clancey, 1969) – S & E Tanzania, E Zambia, Malawi S to E Zimbabwe and S Mozambique (Manica Highlands, Mt Gorongosa).
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; 6–8 g (kilimen­sis). Male nominate race has head to nape, throat and breast grey, back and upperwing light olive-green, rump and uppertail-... read more


    Call a soft whistled "see-see" or "swee-swee", also high-pitched sharp "... read more


    Shrubby grass, undergrowth, bracken briar or dense grass, scrub on rocky hills, small forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small grass seeds. Active. Clings to grass stems and flowerheads; forages also on ground. Takes small insects in flight. Occurs in flocks... read more


    Season Mar, Jun and Aug–Oct in Ethiopia and Apr, Jul–Aug and Oct in Uganda; in Kenya varies with regional rainfall, in Aug on... read more


    No information; possibly some elevational movement in Zimbabwe.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in most of range; abundant in W & SE highlands of Ethiopia.

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Yellow-bellied Waxbill (Coccopygia quartinia). 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).