One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small finch-like Old World songbird, typically brightly coloured and with a red bill that resembles sealing wax in colour.
Family "Estrildidae" (the waxbill family): about three genera, especially "Estrilda", and several species. The waxbill family also includes the avadavats, mannikins, cordon-bleu, Java sparrow, zebra finch, etc., many being popular as cage birds
- ‘Common waxbills are small African finches that select carnivore scat as a material to include in, on, and around their nests.’
- ‘An indignant Cape robin and a sweet waxbill soon followed - each weighing a few grams.’
- ‘For example, the zebrafinch is a highly communal bird, but the congeneric violet-eared waxbill is highly asocial.’
- ‘About 20 koi carp, worth more than £1,000, were killed, and between 20 and 30 finches, canaries, waxbills and Java sparrows were allowed to escape.’
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