Pin-Tailed Whydah…

I thought Wikipedia did a very good job of this entry so courtesy of them I reproduce their entry….. BUT the photos are mine taken at Oribi Gorge, South Coast Natal, South Africa… and I add a photo of me on my favourite perch….

The Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) is a small songbird. It is a resident breeding bird in most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert.

This whydah is found in many open habitats including open woodland, scrub and cultivation.

It is a brood parasite which lays its eggs in the nests of estrildid finches, especially waxbills. Unlike the Common Cuckoo, it does not destroy the host’s eggs. Typically, 2-4 eggs are added to those already present. The eggs of both the host and the fire finch are white, although the whydah’s are slightly larger. The nestling whydahs mimic the gape pattern of the fledglings of the host species.

The Pin-tailed Whydah is 12–13 cm in length, although the breeding male’s tail adds another 20 cm to this. The adult male has a black back and crown, and a very long black tail. The wings are dark brown with white patches, and the under parts and the head, apart from the crown, are white. The bill is bright red.

The female and non-breeding male have streaked brown upper parts, whitish underpants with buff flanks, and a buff and black face pattern. They lack the long tail extension, but retain the red bill. Immature birds are like the female but plainer and with a greyish bill.

The male Pin-tailed Whydah is territorial, and one male often has several females in his small group. He has an elaborate courtship flight display, which includes hovering over the female to display his tail. The song is given from a high perch, and consists of rapid squeaking and chirring. The diet of this species consists of seeds and grain.

Me on top of the world … or clouds… or gorge… love this spot…Oribi Gorge…


Now firstly Photos of the Male bird… cheeky little blighter….

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And now for the Photos of the poor unassuming female bird… but she’s not henpecked she doesn’t raise her own young..

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And two other bird taking a bath, difficult to identify… so lets call them “Birdies..”



45 thoughts on “Pin-Tailed Whydah…

  1. Oh my God! I can’t imagine myself to sit there… This is amazing, amazing… Birds are so beautiful again… how lucky you are to have so beautiful birds… Thank you dear Rob, love, nia

  2. Oh – good grief – your first pic gave me vertigo! I nearly fell off my chair!
    Are you sure you’re not the bird whisperer? I’m constantly amazed that they sit still for you.
    Fantastic pictures (again) 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the complement… if only I could get them to stand still… the little blighters have me running around after them trying to get the shot… and I can assure you at least 50% are either blurred or by the time I press the button its gone and I have a clear photo… but it’s great fun…a challenge I love…

    • Thank you… it looks a lot more dramatic than what it actually is… I’ve seen groups of about 10 people standing together… that frightens me… hope the rock can take the weight…

  3. Oh my godness, I was one second away from a heart attack! I m so scared of heights, that it s even hard to see you sitting there 😛 Lovely bird pictures 🙂

  4. GET OFF THERE ROB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yes it hangs out over a precipices but you only have about a 20m fall and then probably a roll all the way down to the bottom… but if it breaks with this 125kg body… I’ll learn to fly damn quickly… I hope…

  5. Damn slow internet on this side, thought you were referring to yourself on the stone when you said “Now firstly Photos of the Male bird… cheeky little blighter….”

    • How I wish I could call myself little… and a bird, how I wish I could fly then I’d have fantastic photos of birds in flight… thanks for the comment, slow this side sometimes as well, look at my photos after publishing and think they’ve all down loaded blurred, till I realise that its still down loading.. and then sigh with relief…

      • I really hate it when that happens – even though you know you got it right you doubt yourself – did you really upload the CORRECT picture, are you sure? very sure? meanwhile it’s the slooow internet. Haha and if you could fly you could hunt stuff down and take even more pics?

  6. Ok, once again, are you crazy or something? Get down from there!! You’re freaking me out! LOL Now seriously, I really found these Whydah photos beautiful and quite interesting. The male and female look entirely different – I would never have thought they were the same type of bird! Great shots 🙂

  7. gorgeous photos! The female reminds me of a sparrow, ‘cept for the red beak. The first bird, in the top photo, looks like wonderfully genial sort, and isn’t he lucky – perching in such sublime surrounds 🙂

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