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Shaft-tailed Whydah | Vidua regia

The Shaft-tailed Whydah 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 Shaft-tailed Whydah (Latin name Vidua regia) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Vidua regia can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 861 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1074. You will find a picture of the Shaft-tailed Whydah 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.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah is known in Afrikaans as Pylstertrooibekkie.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Vidua regia can be found in other parts of the world.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah has a height of 11 cms and weighs around 15 gms. The head is coloured blue while the bill is coloured pink. The Vidua regia has a yellow coloured throat, orange legs and a blue, black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Vidua regia 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

Eyes are brown

Bill is pink

Legs are orange

Throat is yellow

Back is blue, black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Shaft-tailed Whydah 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 Shaft-tailed Whydah 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.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Shaft-tailed Whydah 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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