The Golden-breasted Waxbills (Amandava subflava) are also known as Zebra Waxbill or Orange-breasted Waxbills. These sparrow-like finches are native to sub-Saharan Africa – where they inhabit the grassland and savannas south of the Sahara. They have been introduced into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
This finch is widespread and common throughout its large range and is, therefore, evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix III of CITES in Ghana.
They average 3.5 to 4 inches or 8.75 to 10 cm in length.
The irises are reddish. The plumage is dark olive-green. Their breast is a bright orange and the bill is red.
The male has a red rump, dark bars on the whitish flank and a scarlet eyebrow stripe. The male is bright orange from the top of his breast to his underside.
Hens are similar in appearance, except their plumage is duller than the males’ and they are smaller. They also lack the red eyebrows of the males.
The Gold-breasted Waxbills are amongst the easiest species of waxbill to breed. They do well in mixed communal aviaries. During the winter months, a heated shelter needs to be provided for these finches.
In their natural habitat, they usually nest in oval-shaped nests made from grass. In captivity they readily accept small wicker baskets strategically placed throughout the aviary. The average clutch consists of 4 to 6 eggs that are incubated for about 11 days. The young fledge when they are about 21 days old.
Diet / Feeding
Its diet consists mainly of seeds, insects and shoots. In captivity, they should be fed a good quality dry finch mix, in addition to green foods and vegetables, such as broccoli florets and grated broccoli stems, dandelion leaves, cress. etc. They also require soaked or sprouted seed, small mealworms and fruit flies – especially during breeding season.