Afrikaans name: Pylstertrooibekkie
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.
References and further readingA First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 34
Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 82
Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 224
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 - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 426