Viduidae – Indigobirds, Whydahs

Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) by Dave's BirdingPix

Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) by Dave’s BirdingPix

The person who gets money dishonestly is like a bird that hatches eggs it didn’t lay. In the prime of life he will lose his riches, and in the end he is nothing but a fool. (Jeremiah 17:11 GNB)

CLASS – AVES, Order – PASSERIFORMES, Family – Viduidae – Indigobirds, Whydahs

Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (20)

Village Indigobird (Vidua chalybeata)
Purple Indigobird (Vidua purpurascens)
Jambandu Indigobird (Vidua raricola)
Barka Indigobird (Vidua larvaticola)
Dusky Indigobird (Vidua funerea)
Zambezi Indigobird (Vidua codringtoni)
Wilson’s Indigobird (Vidua wilsoni)
Quailfinch Indigobird (Vidua nigeriae)
Jos Plateau Indigobird (Vidua maryae)
Cameroon Indigobird (Vidua camerunensis)
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)
Steel-blue Whydah (Vidua hypocherina)
Straw-tailed Whydah (Vidua fischeri)
Shaft-tailed Whydah (Vidua regia)
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah (Vidua paradisaea)
Sahel Paradise Whydah (Vidua orientalis)
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah (Vidua interjecta)
Togo Paradise Whydah (Vidua togoensis)
Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah (Vidua obtusa)
Cuckoo-finch (Anomalospiza imberbis)


On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their site to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:

Dans Pix
Dave’s BirdingPix

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The indigobirds and whydahs, are a family, Viduidae, of small passerine birds native to Africa.

These are finch-like species which usually have black or indigo predominating in their plumage. The birds named “whydahs” have long or very long tails in the breeding male.

All are brood parasites, which lay their eggs in the nests of estrildid finch species; most indigobirds use fire-finches as hosts, whereas the paradise whydahs chose pytilias.

Unlike the cuckoo, the indigobirds and whydahs do not destroy the host’s eggs. Typically, they lay 2–4 eggs in with those already present. The eggs of both the host and the victim are white, although the indigobird’s are slightly larger.

Many of the indigo-plumaged species named “indigobirds” are very similar in appearance, with the males difficult to separate in the field, and the young and females near impossible. The best guide is often the estrildid finch with which they are associating, since each indigobird parasitises a different host species. For example, the Village Indigobird is usually found with Red-billed Fire-finches.

Indigobirds and whydahs imitate their host’s song, which the males learn in the nest. Although females do not sing, they also learn to recognise the song, and chose males with the same song, thus perpetuating the link between each species of indigobird and firefinch. (Wikipedia)

Interesting YouTube of Pin-tailed Whydah flying by Jennifer Bisher

Some of the Family – Photos are Alphabetical down the columns:

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