|Photo by Ian White (Flickr)
This African species is found from southern Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe to northern South Africa.
These birds are 13-15 cm long and weigh 12 g.
The violet-eared waxbill is mostly found in dry scrublands and savanna, especially Acacia, Colosphermum Baikiaea, Baphia and Bauhinia stands. They are also found in pastures and arable land.
They usually forage on the ground, or among scrubs and grasses, taking the seeds of various grasses and forbs, fruits and nectar. They also hunt some insects, namely termites, ants and beetles.
Violet-eared waxbills are monogamous, solitary nesters, forming life-long pair bonds. They can breed all year round and the nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a thick-walled, vertical oval-shaped structure made of grass stems and lined with green grass inflorescences and feathers of other birds. The nest is typically concealed in the foliage of a scrub or tree. The female lays 2-7 white eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed and brooded by both parents and fledge 16-18 days after hatching.
IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This specie has a very large breeding range and is described as common or fairly common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.