Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Black-faced Waxbill (Estrilda erythronotos) - HBW 15, p. 313

French: Astrild à moustaches German: Elfenastrild Spanish: Estrilda Carinegra
Other common names: Abyssinian Red-rumped Waxbill; Red-rumped/(Pink-bellied) Black-cheeked/Pink-bellied Black-faced/Charmosyna Waxbill (charmosyna, kiwanukae)

Taxonomy: Fringilla erythronotos Vieillot, 1817, "l'Indie"; error = Kurrichane, northern South Africa.
Sometimes placed in a monotypic genus, Brunhilda, but such treatment seems unwarranted. Pinkish-bellied races charmosyna and kiwanukae often considered to represent a separate species, distinct from darker-bellied nominate and delamerei; variation, however, apparently clinal, with belly colour becoming darker from N to S, and no differences in vocalizations or nestling appearance; reported sympatry of the two groups in S Kenya not confirmed, and, in any event, some birds might have been non-breeding migrants or wanderers. Proposed race pallidior (described f.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Fringilla erythronotos Vieillot, 1817, "l'Indie"; error = Kurrichane, northern South Africa.
Sometimes placed in a monotypic genus, Brunhilda, but such treatment seems unwarranted. Pinkish-bellied races charmosyna and kiwanukae often considered to represent a separate species, distinct from darker-bellied nominate and delamerei; variation, however, apparently clinal, with belly colour becoming darker from N to S, and no differences in vocalizations or nestling appearance; reported sympatry of the two groups in S Kenya not confirmed, and, in any event, some birds might have been non-breeding migrants or wanderers. Proposed race pallidior (described from N Guaso, on R Nyiro, in Kenya) is considered to be inseparable from charmosyna, and soligena (from Otjomassu Sandfield, in C Namibia) is synonymized with nominate. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • charmosyna ( Reichenow, 1881) - S Sudan, Ethiopia, S Somalia, NE Uganda and E Kenya.
  • delamerei Sharpe, 1900 - SW Uganda, SW Kenya and W & C Tanzania.
  • kiwanukae van Someren, 1919 - SE Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • erythronotos ( Vieillot, 1817) - S Angola, SW Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, N Zimbabwe and N South Africa (Limpopo S to Northern Cape and W Free State).