Zebra Waxbill

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Fluttering against the cage bars is a WHITE-HEADED NUN from the Netherlands Indies and the Malay Peninsula. Perched on the upper branches are the BROWN-BREASTED NUN(left) and the BLACK-HEADED NUN. To the lower branches cling the THREE-COLORED NUN (full face) from India and Ceylon, the CUTTHROAT FINCH (left center), and the lovely CORDON BLEU (blue underparts). In the water splash the tiny ZEBRA WAXBILL (above) and the COMMON WAXBILL (left). The long-lived BRONZE NUN rests on the pool’s brink.

By Alexander Wetmore

Originally appeared in the December 1938 issue of the National Geographic Magazine

The zebra Waxbill (Sporaeginthus subflavus), found throughout much of Africa south of the true Sahara. takes its name from the bars on its sides that suggest the stripes of a zebra. It is marked also by the bright-red rump. the reddish under-parts being found only in the male. It differs from the other waxbills not only in color but in having a shorter tail.

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