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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Long-tailed Widowbird

Afrikaans name: Langstertflap

Long-tailed Widowbird male in breeding plumage

Male Long-tailed Widowbird

Photo © Steven Herbert

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During summer the male Long-tailed Widowbird is very distinctive. They have black plumage with some red and white on their wings. The distinctive feature is, however, the very long tail. Females, and non-breeding males, are far more drab.

These birds are often found in areas of open grassland or vleis. They are found in the central parts of South Africa from the Eastern Cape through to southern Limpopo.

The main foods of the Long-tailed Widowbirds are seeds and insects.

During summer the males mate with up to 6 females at a time. The nest is a ball of grass amongst a clump of grass. Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 310

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 28

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 28

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 114

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 261

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 78

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 38

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 189

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 310

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 418

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 418

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 413

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 350

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 569

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 581

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 741

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 740

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 390

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 424

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 201

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 56

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 182

List of South African Birds

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