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Long-tailed Widowbird

From Opus

Male Photo of Male by scottishdude  South Africa, 2016
Male
Photo of Male by scottishdude
South Africa, 2016
MalePhoto by DARKROOM IMAGES
Male
Photo by DARKROOM IMAGES
Euplectes progne

Contents

[edit] Identification

Length 16-19 cm (breeding male 60 cm), mass 25-46 g. The largest widowbird.

The breeding male unmistakeable with its long tail, broad black wings and red-and-white shoulders.

[edit] Distribution

Africa: Three separate populations: One in the Kenyan highlands, one from Angola, northern Zambia and extreme southern Democratic Republic of Congo, and another from eastern South Africa, Lesotho, western Swaziland and extreme south-eastern Botswana.

Female Photo by Alan Manson Midmar, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, October 2007
Female
Photo by Alan Manson
Midmar, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, October 2007

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Each of the three populations is recognised as a subspecies[1]:

  • E. p. delamerei
  • E. p. ansorgei
  • E. p. progne

[edit] Habitat

Open tall grassland, usually in valleys.

[edit] Behaviour

Forages in flacks on the ground, mainly for seeds, but also eats invertebrates.

[edit] Breeding

Male displayingPhoto by Charlie M Near Johannesburg, South Africa, October 2004
Male displaying
Photo by Charlie M
Near Johannesburg, South Africa, October 2004

Polygynous and territorial; up to five females per breeding male. The nest is thick-walled, oval structure of woven grass and has a side-top entrance. One to four eggs are incubated for 12-14 days by the female. The nestling period is about 17 days.

Sometimes parasitised by Dideric Cuckoo.

[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/

[edit] External Links

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