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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Shaft-tailed Whydah

Afrikaans name: Pylstertrooibekkie

A male Shaft-tailed Whydah in breeding plumage.

Photo © EcoView - Fotolia.com

Vidua regia

During the summer breeding season the male Shaft-tailed Whydah has stunning looks but, for the rest of the year, it has drab brownish plumage like the female.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah is only found in Southern Africa from South Africa through to Angola.

They prefer open and drier areas such as those found in savanna.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah feeds exclusively on grass seeds which it looks for on the ground.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah parasitises the Violet-eared Waxbill although sometimes it will use either the Blue or Black-faced Waxbill as a host.

They search for suitable hosts for their eggs and then the female lays one egg per day in the nest of the unsuspecting hosts.

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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: 322

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 34

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 34

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 218

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 271

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 82

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 110

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 224

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 312

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 432

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 432

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 361

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 588

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 600

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 768

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 767

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 392

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 426

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 150

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 184

List of South African Birds

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