Photographs Showing the Courtship and Mating of Blue Waxbills
Photos by Marie-France Grenouillet. Images have been resized (smaller). You can see more of her work here: planetstillalive.com
Kruger N.P. - South Africa - April 2016.
The blue waxbill (Uraeginthus angolensis), also called blue-breasted cordon-bleu, is a common species of finch found in Southern Africa. The male and the female are nearly similar. Each species of finches has its own unique set of courtship behaviors, such as the song and dance.
In this courtship display, the male will hold a piece of nesting material, a long piece of grass in his beak (pic. 1).
He will perch near the female with his tail angled toward her (pic. 2).
He sings while bobbing up and down and throwing his head back each time he rises (pic. 3).
The male pecks at the head of the female immediately prior to the very short copulation. (pic. 4).
Blue waxbills reproduce using their cloaca, this occurs during a "cloacal kiss" and usually involves the hen lifting her tail (pic. 5 and 6), the cock placing one leg over her back while flapping his wings frantically (pic. 7 and 8).
Finally, this entire ordeal has taken less than three seconds (pic. 9).