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Pin-Tailed Whydah

Vidua macroura
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Range: 
Sub-Saharan Africa
Habitat: 
Grassland, scrubs and savannah, also parks and gardens

Male pin-tail whydahs are territorial, and one male will have several females in his group.  Courtship involves a hovering flight by the male that shows off his long tail.  You can watch a video here.  The tail only grows on males during the breeding season, and it is 1.5 times the length of the bird’s body!

Pin-tail whydahs eat seeds, grains, and insects.

Pin-tail whydahs are brood parasites, so females will lay their eggs in the nest of other species.  This becomes even more of a problem because pin-tail whydahs have been introduced into areas where the native bird species have no natural defenses to this behavior.

Image by Derek Keats from Wikimedia Commons, used under Creative Commons cc-by 2.0.