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


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

Village Indigobird (Vidua chalybeata) Male – Female ©WikiC – BirdPhotos
Purple Indigobird (Vidua purpurascens) ©WikiC
Jambandu Indigobird (Vidua raricola) Indigobirds
Barka Indigobird (Vidua larvaticola) Collins Birds
Dusky Indigobird (Vidua funerea) ©WikiC
Zambezi Indigobird (Vidua codringtoni) WorldBirds
Wilson’s Indigobird (Vidua wilsoni) IBC
Quailfinch Indigobird (Vidua nigeriae) WorldBirds
Jos Plateau Indigobird (Vidua maryae) Indigobirds
Cameroon Indigobird (Vidua camerunensis) WorldBirds
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) by Dave’s Birding Pix
Steel-blue Whydah (Vidua hypocherina) ©WikiC
Straw-tailed Whydah (Vidua fischeri) ©WikiC
Shaft-tailed Whydah (Vidua regia) IBC
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah (Vidua paradisaea) by Dan at National Aviary *LLABS*
Sahel Paradise Whydah (Vidua orientalis) IBC
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah (Vidua interjecta) ©WikiC
Togo Paradise Whydah (Vidua togoensis) WorldBirds
Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah (Vidua obtusa) ©WikiC – BirdPhotos
Cuckoo-finch (Anomalospiza imberbis) ©WikiC
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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 sight to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia. “†” indicates the bird is extinct. *LLABS* means it is on Our Life List of All Birds Seen.

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

BirdPhotos
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

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