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Steel-blue Whydah

From Opus

Alternative name: Steel-blue Widow

Breeding malePhoto by Mike BarthAwash National Park, Ethiopia, July 2014
Breeding male
Photo by Mike Barth
Awash National Park, Ethiopia, July 2014
Vidua hypocherina

Contents

[edit] Identification

10-11 cm (4-4¼ in), breeding male 30-31 cm (11¾-12¼ in) including tail.

[edit] Male

  • Glossy blue-black plumage with (usually concealed) small white patch on upper flank
  • Extremely elongated central two pairs of tail feathers
  • Dark brown upperwing, white inner webs of primaries and secondaries (visible as broad white band from below), white underwing-coverts
  • White short and stubby bill
  • Grey legs
  • Similar to female in non-breeding, but with more distinctly blackish and white head markings

[edit] Female

  • Dark brown crown with whitish central streak
  • Whitish supercilium
  • Light greyish face with dark streak behind eye and indistinct streak below greyish ear patch
  • Grey-brown upperparts with black streaks
  • Dark tail with white edge on inside and tips of feathers and narrower white edge on outer margin
  • Brown upperwing, buffy white inner webs of primaries and secondaries
  • Grey breast, whitish throat, side of breast and flanks, streaked buff and grey
  • White undertail-coverts and underwing-coverts
  • Grey bill, darker on upper mandible

Juveniles are similar to females.

[edit] Similar species

Female and non-breeding male differ from other Whydahs by tiny pale bill, grey legs and more definite eyestripe. They also have a less strongly patterned face, less rufous on head and upperparts and a smaller grey bill than Pin-tailed Whydah.

[edit] Distribution

Eastern Africa: South Sudan, northeast Uganda, Ethiopia, northwest and southern Somalia, Kenya and south to central Tanzania.
Uncommon in its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.

[edit] Habitat

Bushy habitats below 1400m and dry savanna.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on small grass seeds. Forages on the ground. Searches for seeds by rapidly kicking aside topsoil with one foot and then the other, then hops backwards and pecks.

[edit] Breeding

A brood-parasitic, main hosts are Black-cheeked Waxbill and Black-lored Waxbill. Lays in May in South Sudan, season June to September at Lake Baringo (Kenya) and May to July at Lake Victoria. Lays one or two eggs in a parasitized nest.

[edit] Movements

A resident species, some seasonal movements occurs.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2014)

[edit] External Links

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