The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Long-tailed Widowbird

Afrikaans name: Langstertflap

Long-tailed Widowbird male in breeding plumage

Male Long-tailed Widowbird

Photo © Steven Herbert

Euplectes progne

During summer the male Long-tailed Widowbird is very distinctive. They have black plumage with some red and white on their wings. The distinctive feature is, however, the very long tail. Females, and non-breeding males, are far more drab.

These birds are often found in areas of open grassland or vleis. They are found in the central parts of South Africa from the Eastern Cape through to southern Limpopo.

The main foods of the Long-tailed Widowbirds are seeds and insects.

During summer the males mate with up to 6 females at a time. The nest is a ball of grass amongst a clump of grass. Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 182

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 65

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 61

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 350

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 123

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 56

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 201

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 424

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 741

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 390

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 740

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 581

LBJs - Author: Newman, Johnson, Solomon, Masterson - Published: 1998 - Page: 122

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 113

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 310

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 413

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 569

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 440

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 418

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 418

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 117

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 261

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 78

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 38

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 189

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 278

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 114

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 28

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 28

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 310

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