waxbill

waxbill

[waks-bil]
noun
any of several small Old World finches, especially of the genus Estrilda, that have white, pink, or red bills of waxy appearance and are often kept as cage birds.

Origin:
1745–55; wax1 + bill2

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World English Dictionary
waxbill (ˈwæksˌbɪl)
 
n
any of various chiefly African finchlike weaverbirds of the genus Estrilda and related genera, having a brightly coloured bill and plumage

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

waxbill

any of several Old World tropical birds named for the prominent red (the colour of sealing wax) of their conical bills. The name is used generally for birds of the family Estrildidae (order Passeriformes); less broadly for those of the tribe Estrildini of that family; and particularly for the 28 species of the genus Estrilda, which includes some popular domesticated birds. Waxbills are seedeaters that go about in compact flocks and nest in tall grass. Individuals of most species are brown or grayish, with touches of red, yellow, or black; most have fine barring. The 10-centimetre (4-inch) common waxbill (E. astrild) is brown above and pinkish below; it is common in Africa-the home of most species of the genus-and has been introduced into Brazil. The lavender waxbill (E. coerulescens) has a wine red bill and tail. Certain other waxbill species are known by the name cordon bleu (q.v.).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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