Pin-tailed Whydah

Vidua macroura

Pin-tailed Whydah, Vidua macroura, photo © by Michael Plagens

Limuru Ponds, west of Nairobi, Kenya. January 2014. Poor photo for sure, but easily identifiable.

From Wikipedia: 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 underparts and the head, apart from the crown, are white. The bill is bright red. The female and non-breeding male have streaked brown upperparts, whitish underparts 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 grayish bill.

Whydahs are brood parasites which lay their eggs in the nests of estrildid finches, especially waxbills. Typically, 2-4 eggs are added to those already present. The eggs of both the host and the firefinch are white, although the whydah's are slightly larger.

Viduidae -- Whydah Family


  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, created 6 August 2014