Shaft-tailed whydah

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Shaft-tailed whydah
Whydah Shaft-tailed 2007 0107 1225 15AA.jpg
Male in breeding plumage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Viduidae
Genus: Vidua
Species: V. regia
Binomial name
Vidua regia
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The shaft-tailed whydah or queen whydah (Vidua regia) is a small, sparrow-like bird in the genus Vidua. During the breeding season the male has black crown and upper body plumage, golden breast and four elongated black tail shaft feathers with expanded tips. After the breeding season is over, the male sheds its long tail and grows olive brown female-like plumage.

The shaft-tailed whydah is distributed in open habitats and grasslands of Southern Africa, from south Angola to south Mozambique. It is a brood parasite to the violet-eared waxbill. The diet consists mainly of seeds.

Widespread and a common species throughout its large habitat range, the shaft-tailed whydah is evaluated as least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


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