A photo of a Long-tailed Paradise Whydah (Vidua paradisaea), male
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah, Male

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah

Vidua paradisaea

The long-tailed paradise whydah or eastern paradise whydah (Vidua paradisaea) is from the family Viduidae of the order Passeriformes. They are small passerines with short, stubby bills found across Sub-Saharan Africa. They are mostly granivorous and feed on seeds that have ripen and fall on the ground. The ability to distinguish between males and females is quite difficult unless it is breeding season. During this time, the males moult into breeding plumage where they have one distinctive feature which is their long tail. It can grow up to three times longer than its own body or even more. Usually, the whydahs look like ordinary sparrows with short tails during the non-breeding season. In addition, hybridization can occur with these paradise whydahs. Males are able to mimic songs where females can use that to discover their mate. However, there are some cases where females don't use songs to choose their mate but they use either male characteristics like plumages or they can have a shortage of options with song mimicry. Paradise whydahs are brood parasites. They won't destroy the eggs that are originally there but will lay their own eggs in other songbirds nest. Overall, these whydahs are considered least concerned based on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. Viduidae species differ from one another in size, in breeding plumage and color, and in the songs used for mating. These long-tailed paradise whydahs are hard to distinguish between males and females. Usually these paradise whydah finches grow to about 13 centimeters in length. Female whydahs tend to have a grey bill and feathers that are greyish-brown with blackish streaks along with their under tail feather being more white. Similarly, males during the non-breeding season tend to have mostly browner plumage with black stripes on the crown, black parts along the face, and deeper brown color for the chest and creamer color for the abdomen, however, breeding males have black heads and back, the rusty colored breast, a bright yellow nape, and white abdomen with broad, elongated black tail feathers that can grow up to 36 centimeters or more.
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Long-tailed Paradise Whydahs on Birda



A map showing the sighting location
Natalie White
Sunday 26 Mar 2023 - 3:04pm
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
Snoopdogg .
Saturday 25 Mar 2023 - 9:52am
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
Nix Asherson
Saturday 25 Mar 2023 - 9:50am
South Africa
A map showing the sighting location
Luke Kroon
Friday 24 Mar 2023 - 2:40pm
South Africa
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