- Euplectes progne
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.
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 eSwatini and extreme south-eastern Botswana.
Each of the three populations is recognised as a subspecies:
- E. p. delamerei
- E. p. ansorgei
- E. p. progne
Open tall grassland, usually in valleys.
Forages in flacks on the ground, mainly for seeds, but also eats invertebrates.
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.
- 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/
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2022) Long-tailed Widowbird. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 19 January 2022 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Long-tailed_Widowbird