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Pin-tailed Whydah

From Opus

Photo by MybsWetlands near Cape Town, South Africa
Photo by Mybs
Wetlands near Cape Town, South Africa
Vidua macroura


[edit] Identification

FemalePhoto by whiteheadedvultureAccra, Ghana, August 2016
Photo by whiteheadedvulture
Accra, Ghana, August 2016

11–12 cm (4¼-4¾ in) in length, tail an additional 20cm
Adult male

  • Black back and crown
  • Long black tail
  • White patches on dark brown wings
  • White underparts and head
  • Red bill

The female and non-breeding male:

  • Streaked brown upperparts
  • Whitish underparts
  • Buff flanks
  • Buff and black face pattern
  • They lack the long tail extension

[edit] Distribution

JuvenilePhoto by patricklhoirBangui, Central African Republic, November 2016
Photo by patricklhoir
Bangui, Central African Republic, November 2016

Africa south of the Sahara Desert:
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zaire
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland
African Islands: Gulf of Guinea Islands: Bioko (Fernando Po), Sao Tome

Feral population from introduced individuals are sometimes found, e.g., in Puerto Rico and Singapore.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1]., however, a second subspecies arenosa is sometimes recognized.

[edit] Habitat

Non-breeding malePhoto by d.flackFarutso Forest, Gambia, March 201
Non-breeding male
Photo by d.flack
Farutso Forest, Gambia, March 201

Open grassland and shrubby areas, including open woodland, scrub, gardens and cultivation.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

The diet consists mostly of small seeds which are gleaned from the ground. They also catch insects in flight.

The female may eat the eggs of the host species.

[edit] Breeding

They are a brood parasite laying their eggs in the nests of estrildid finches, especially waxbills. In South Africa, the primary host is Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild.

In Puerto Rico, only introduced species are parasitized, none of the native species. Their 2-4 white eggs are added to those already present in the nest.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2016)
  4. Study of host species in South Africa
  5. Wikipedia
  6. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


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