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Long-tailed Widowbird in Africa



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The Long-tailed Widowbird  is a medium-sized bird and one of the most common in the territories it inhabits. Adult breeding males are almost entirely black with orange and white shoulders (epaulets),

Long-tailed Widowbird in Africa Description

The Long-tailed Widowbird  is a medium-sized bird and one of the most common in the territories it inhabits. Adult breeding males are almost entirely black with orange and white shoulders (epaulets), long, wide tails, and a bluish white bill. Females are rather inconspicuous, their feathers streaked tawny and black with pale patches on the chest, breast and back, narrow tail feathers, and horn-color bills. The species are found in Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and southern Zaire.

Habitat and diet

Long-tailed Widowbirds are generally found in swampy grassland in flocks consisting of one or two males and a number of females. The Long-tailed Widowbird’s diet generally consists of seeds, supplemented occasionally by arthropods. They also feed upon both insects, including species of beetles, cicadas and aphids and spiders.

Breeding

Breeding takes place from February to July, reaching its peak in March and April. Females weave nests, shaped in large dome structures with a lining of seedheads, in the high grass within males’ territories. Females often mate with the male within whose territories they nest. Females lay one to three eggs after mating. These eggs are pale bluish green and streaked with brown. These are usually around 23.5 millimeters (0.9 inches) by 16.5 mm (0.6 inches) in size.

 


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