The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Shaft-tailed Whydah

Afrikaans name: Pylstertrooibekkie

A male Shaft-tailed Whydah in breeding plumage.

Photo © EcoView - Fotolia.com

Vidua regia

During the summer breeding season the male Shaft-tailed Whydah has stunning looks but, for the rest of the year, it has drab brownish plumage like the female.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah is only found in Southern Africa from South Africa through to Angola.

They prefer open and drier areas such as those found in savanna.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah feeds exclusively on grass seeds which it looks for on the ground.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah parasitises the Violet-eared Waxbill although sometimes it will use either the Blue or Black-faced Waxbill as a host.

They search for suitable hosts for their eggs and then the female lays one egg per day in the nest of the unsuspecting hosts.

References and further reading

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 768

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 184

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 361

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 150

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 426

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 392

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 767

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 600

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 457

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 588

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 432

LBJs - Author: Newman, Johnson, Solomon, Masterson - Published: 1998 - Page: 117

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 432

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 312

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 110

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 224

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 82

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 271

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 218

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 322

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 34

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 34

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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