|Male in breeding plumage|
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.
- BirdLife Species Factsheet
- Shaft-tailed whydah - Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds.