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Fan-tailed Widowbird

From Opus

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==External Links== ==External Links==
{{GSearch|Euplectes+axillaris}} {{GSearch|Euplectes+axillaris}}
-[[Image:2009_12_15_Fan-tailed_Widowbird.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Photo by {{user|Alan+Manson|Alan Manson}} ]][[Image:Fantailed_Widowbird_2008_01_18_Cedara.jpg|thumb|200px|right|''E. a. axillaris''; female <br />Photo by {{user|Alan+Manson|Alan Manson}} ]]+[[Image:2009_12_15_Fan-tailed_Widowbird.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Photo by {{user|Alan+Manson|Alan Manson}} ]][[Image:Fantailed_Widowbird_2008_01_18_Cedara.jpg|thumb|200px|left|''E. a. axillaris''; female <br />Photo by {{user|Alan+Manson|Alan Manson}} ]]
[[Category:Birds]] [[Category:Euplectes]] [[Category:Birds]] [[Category:Euplectes]]

Revision as of 17:20, 4 December 2011

Euplectes axillaris

E. a. axillaris; male Photo by Alan Manson Location: Cedara, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; December 2011
E. a. axillaris; male
Photo by Alan Manson
Location: Cedara, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; December 2011

Contents

Identification

Length 15-17 cm. A short-tailed widowbird.

Breeding male: Black with red 'shoulders' and buff greater wing-coverts. The tail is fanned only in display. Non-breeding male: Brown, streaked blackish; with black primaries and red 'shoulders'. Female: Brown with blackish streaking above and reddish 'shoulders'.

Distribution

Widespread throughout Africa:
Western Africa Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Eastern Africa Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Mafia Island, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi.
Southern Africa Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland.

Taxonomy

Euplectes axillaris has five subspecies:[1]

  • E. a. bocagei
  • E. a. traversii
  • E. a. phoeniceus
  • E. a. zanzibaricus

E. a. traversii; male Photo by volker sthamer Location: Jimma, Ethiopia, August 2010
E. a. traversii; male
Photo by volker sthamer
Location: Jimma, Ethiopia, August 2010

Habitat

Tall grassland, reedbeds and sugar cane fields.

Behaviour

Non-breeding birds forage in large flocks (often with other seed-eating species). Diet is mainly grass seeds; also insects.

Vocalisation

The male sings from an elevated perch and in flight: a series of twittering and chirping sounds.

Breeding

Polygynous; male defends a territory of up to 0.6 ha and breeds with up to four females in a season. The oval nest is built using grass and has a side-top entrance. It is located in marsh or rank vegetation within 0.8 m of the ground. Two to three eggs are incubated for 12-14 days by the female; the nestling period is 15-16 days.

References

  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist.
  2. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  3. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

External Links


Photo by Alan Manson
Photo by Alan Manson

E. a. axillaris; female Photo by Alan Manson
E. a. axillaris; female
Photo by Alan Manson
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