A photo of a Long-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes progne), male
Long-tailed Widowbird, Male

Long-tailed Widowbird

Euplectes progne

The long-tailed widowbird (Euplectes progne), also known as the "sakabula", is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae. The species are found in Angola, Botswana, the DRCongo, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Eswatini, and Zambia. The long-tailed widowbird is a medium-sized bird and one of the most common in the territories it inhabits. Adult breeding males are almost entirely black with orange and white shoulders (epaulets), long, wide tails, and a bluish white bill. Females are rather inconspicuous, their feathers streaked tawny and black with pale patches on the chest, breast and back, narrow tail feathers, and horn-colored bills. Long-tailed widowbirds exhibit distinct sexual dimorphism. Males and females exhibit differences in behavior and morphological traits. Adult males are entirely black, including under their wing-coverts. Males' wing shoulders are orange red and their wing-coverts white. Their bills are bluish white. Males are known for their distinctly long tails, which contain twelve tail feathers. Of these twelve tail feathers, between six and eight are approximately half a metre long. Males have wingspans of approximately 127 to 147 mm. Females have a rather subdued coloration. The upper portion of the female's body is streaked with buff or tawny and black. Female chests, breasts and flanks are slightly paler than their above coloring. The area under the wing-coverts is black and the females' tail feathers are narrow and pointed. Finally, their bills are horn-coloured. Non-breeding males are slightly larger than females, though they demonstrate a remarkably similar appearance. For the most part, these males are colored in the same manner as the females, except in that they are more broadly streaked above and below and have wings and wing shoulders with the morphology of the breeding class of males. Rarely, males in the non-breeding class have elongated brownish black tail feathers, though these feathers are substantially shorter than those of the breeding class.
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Long-tailed Widowbirds on Birda



A map showing the sighting location
Linky Manuel
Thursday 28 Sep 2023 - 3:06pm
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
Amanda Terblanche
Thursday 28 Sep 2023 - 12:22pm
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
Sonwabile Daza
Thursday 28 Sep 2023 - 8:24am
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Aart Verrips
Aart Verrips
Wednesday 27 Sep 2023 - 1:50pm
South Africa
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