Orange-breasted Waxbill will now become the modern day coal mine canary

6 Jun

Old fashioned coal miner with his mine canary which helped to save many lives

Old fashioned coal miner with his mine canary which helped to save many lives from dangerous gasses

Just as in the past where the little coal mine canary helped to save lives so the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch, will now become an important bird to help save the lives of no less than 92 other bird species that all use a similar habitat to itself.

Photo Chris Krog

Photo Chris Krog

Recent unexpected declines in the Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflava) has resulted in the urgent need for the species to be researched. The species has now been selected by BirdLife South Africa as a key sentinel (watchdog) bird for South African wetland bird species, including eight threatened and 84 common bird species.(Making up a total of no less than 92 other bird species) The eight Red-listed species, ranging from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered, plus all 84 common species will all benefit from the BirdLife South Africa and Rare Finch Conservation Group collaboration

Below is the list of the eight threatened species as listed in the updated 2014/15 Eskom Red Data book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland


Of the 84 common bird species, that use the same habitat as the little Orange-breasted Waxbill, fourteen are finch species which naturally will also benefit from the research conservation work.

 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
For more info visit or write to the secretary at



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: