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.