Grey Waxbill


This little waxbill is a gorgeous grey bird with a red rump that hangs out in small groups and, while common, is shy and secretive and not always easily seen, making it a great sighting for any lucky enough to spot it.


The Grey Waxbill can be found in wetter parts of Africa, as far North as the DRC. In South Africa, this range is limited to the far East Coast with its hot and humid climate.

Where To Find

The Grey Waxbill lives in lusher climates typically in amongst thick woodland, or sand forest. It hides within the dense foliage or grass, eating the grass directly off the stalks. Some of the best places to find them are on the margins of thick indigenous forests, in small groups - where you can get a clear look at them. Their small size and shy behaviour, combined with this tricky habitat can make it a challenge to find.

How To Id

If spotted, the Grey Waxbill is easy to identify with its all-grey appearance and red rump. But normally it will disappear long before you can pull out your binoculars and so your best chance at seeing them would be to learn and listen out for their high pitch contact call from deep within the vegetation to locate them. Then you can watch and wait, and they might be curious and want to take a look at what you are up to.


While common, the Grey Waxbill is small, elusive and shy. Fortunately it is not regarded as officially endangered, but the progression of human development and destruction of indigenous forest and woodland will undoubtedly have an effect on the amount of habitat suitable for this little bird in future.

Book Now

The Grey Waxbill is sometimes considered common, but is a bogey-bird for many birders due to its shy and secretive nature. Hiring a BirdLife accredited guide like Junior Gabela gives you the best chance to run into this delight. He knows the habitat, behaviour, nesting sites and contact calls of this bird and can take you to the best spots - just be sure to mention this bird on your wishlist when making a booking!