<< Previous Next >>

Pin-tailed Whydah

Pin-tailed Whydah
Photo Information
Copyright: Ralf Lukovic (ralfsworld) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 492 W: 93 N: 1903] (6560)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-17
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon 100-400L 4.5-5.6 IS USM
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-03-20 3:27
Viewed: 4361
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Captured in Tanzania with 20D @ 400mm, handheld.

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 firefinch are white, although the whydah's are slightly larger. The nestling whydahs mimic the unique 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 20cm 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 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 churring. The diet of this species consists of seeds and grain.

SelenE, Rolf, Raptorman, jeanpaul, Argus, jaycee, coasties has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-03-20 3:39]

Interesting and a beautiful bird. Composition, pose and colors are very good. TFS Ralf
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Rolf Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 27] (196)
  • [2007-03-20 5:37]

This is really cool and interesting shot, Ralf!
Well composed with nice details & colors.

Hi , very good photo of very interesting bird , TFS.

Pas facile de photographier ce charmant volatile avec ses attributs !
Bonne journée.

Oh wow.. What a beauty this one is!
I really like that you included the whole tail because that's what makes this bird look especially unique from other bird pics. Good one. Sharpness and details are clear too.


Bonjour Ralf
Félicitations pour cette belle capture. L'éclairage et le BG sont parfaits et font bien ressortir les couleurs et les détails de l'oiseau que l'on ne voit pas souvent sur le site..

Merci pour l'envoie et au revoir....JP

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-03-20 11:54]

Hi Ralf,

Fantastic shot of a bird I have not seen. The colors are unbelievable!! And the tail is magnificent. An absolutely wonderful presentation.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-03-20 11:57]

Hej Ralf,
Superb portrait of a Pin-tailed Whydah, the colours, sharpness, pose and composition all being first class.
Nice to see another African species new to me.

Vinden har mojnat idag: försökte plåta spillkråkan men han är för skygg, men jag tror han börjar häcka någonstans nära oss, så det är inte kört än!

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2007-03-20 11:59]

Hello Ralf,
What a composition of this beauty, so colourfull and detailed. Great job.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-03-20 13:13]

Hello Ralf,
I've seen this birds several times, but they always flew away when you come a bit near to them. So I'm a bit jealous. What a beautiful photo with great colours and composition.

Hi Ralf

Love this shot. Perfect details, well composed against a perfect OOF BG. :-)

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-03-21 2:08]

What an amazing bird, Ralf.
I have never seen such a tail on a small bird like that.
It is just beautiful.
Great POV to show off this unusual feature.
The bird is so well isolated against the blurred BG.
TFS. : )

very intersting photo.

Calibration Check