Yellow-mantled widowbird

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Yellow-mantled widowbird
Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Ndassima, CAR (5958116143).jpg
Nominate race of E. macroura
in the Central African Republic
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ploceidae
Genus: Euplectes
Species: E. macroura
Binomial name
Euplectes macroura
(Gmelin, 1789)

The yellow-mantled widowbird (Euplectes macroura), also known as the yellow-backed widow, is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae. It is the type species of the genus Euplectes, originally named for the city of Ouidah in Benin. Nowadays the name whydah (from "Ouidah") is however applied to some species in the Viduidae.


Males are larger than females and acquire longer tails and striking black and golden yellow plumages in the breeding season. The mantle colour is either golden yellow, or in the case of the northeastern race, E. m. macrocercus, black. The yellow shoulders persist in all male plumages, whether breeding or non-breeding.[2]

Range and habitat[edit]

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland. It is widely distributed in Africa, and is found in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Breeding males of race E. m. subsp. macrocercus have black rather than yellow mantle plumage

The distinctive race E. m. subsp. macrocercus occurs in Eritrea, Ethiopia, western Kenya and Uganda.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Euplectes macroura". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sinclair, I. & Ryan P. (2010). Birds of African south of the Sahara. Cape Town: Struik Nature. ISBN 978-1-77007-623-5. 

External links[edit]