Widespread on the African continent, from West Africa to the Horn of Africa, and south to South Africa, this diminutive species has also been widely introduced, especially onto islands in many parts of the world. In our region, the Common Waxbill, an easily identified bird due to its red ‘bandit’ mask, is best known in Brazil, where the species certainly became established during the 19th century, perhaps as early as the 1820s, but that it did not start to spread widely until the second third of the 20th century. There are now records from many parts of the east of the country, and the Common Waxbill has even reached central Amazonia, from where there are reports in the vicinity of Manaus. There seems to be some doubt as to whether or not the species has been introduced onto Puerto Rico, but the Common Waxbill arrived on Trinidad around 1990 and there is now a self-sustaining population in the south and west of the island, with one record from Tobago.

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