Interim profile, incomplete information
Taxonomic name: Estrilda astrild (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common names: avadavat (English-Saint Helena), common waxbill (English), red-cheeked waxbill (English), waxbill (English)
Organism type: bird
The common waxbill, Estrilda astrild is native to tropical and southern Africa, but has been introduced to many island nations where it has shown mixed success in establishment. It feeds mainly on grass seeds and is commonly found in open long grass plains and close to human habitation. E. astrild shows a high reproductive rate which is attributed to its ability to naturalize easily.
Estrilda astrild tends to move in small flocks (Hughes et al, 1994) and concentrates around human habitation and good vegetation cover. The main foodstuff for E. astrild is mainly grass seeds (Lewis, 2008). The large success of of E. astrild's success in naturalisation in its introduced range is due to its high reproductive rate and being able to breed all year round in certain regions (Reino & Silva, 1998). E. astrild collects carnivore scat and places it around its nests, thus trying to camouflage them from predators (Schuetz, 2004).
agricultural areas, range/grasslands, riparian zones, urban areas, water courses, wetlands
Estrilda astrild inhabits open country with long grass, reed stands near water, cultivated areas, forest edges and in the vicinity of human habitations (Goodwin 1982; as seen in Reino & Silva, 1998).
Native range: Tropical and Southern Africa.
Known introduced range: Taiwan, Vanuatu, Ascension Island, Cape Verde Islands, Saint Helena, Mauritius, Rodrigues, Amirante Islands, Seychelles, Reunion Islands, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Sao Tome, Portugal, Bermuda, Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Madagascar, Archipel des Comores, Principe, Tenerife, Spain.
Estrilda astrild feeds mainly on grass seeds (Lewis, 2008).
Compiled by: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment
Last Modified: Tuesday, 8 June 2010