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Purple Indigobird | Vidua purpurascens

The Purple Indigobird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Viduidae bird family group which includes birds such as Whydahs, Indigobirds, Cuckoo Finch.

The description for the Purple Indigobird (Latin name Vidua purpurascens) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Vidua purpurascens can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 865 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1079. You will find a picture of the Purple Indigobird on page 1072.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Purple Widowfinch in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Purple Indigobird is known in Afrikaans as Witpootblouvinkie.

The Purple Indigobird has a height of 11 cms and weighs around 13 gms. The head is coloured blue, purple while the bill is coloured white. The Vidua purpurascens has a purple coloured throat, orange legs and a blue, purple coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Vidua purpurascens has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is blue, purple

Eyes are brown

Bill is white

Legs are orange

Throat is purple

Back is blue, purple

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Purple Indigobird does not built its own nest but rather invades the nest of other birds. If the bird does not find an empty nest it will attack the host (original nest owner) and displace it

The Purple Indigobird is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Purple Indigobird is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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