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Whydah: Pin-tailed Whydah

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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DotDan
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by DotDan » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:19 am

For me, that one is quite difficult to explain Arks as I don't have the relative knowledge on Whydah's and their breeding habits but I do know that Pin Tailed Whydah's move in groups and I think that certain males are probably more mature or (trying to find the right word here) "dominant" and that be the reasojn for some of them to change into their breeding plumage faster than others...

I have seen numerous Southern Masked Weavers, Red Bishops and Long Tailed Widow birds display the same sort of thing, where one would find certain males looking great in their breeding plumage early in the season where as certain males take longer to get there... :)

Maybe some of the more experienced heads could give you a more detailed explanation? :wink:

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DotDan
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by DotDan » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:22 am

If you say that you saw it amongst numerous males in breeding plumage, it could also mean that these particular ones were female.

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lee lewis
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by lee lewis » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:52 am

I have taken a great interest in these little birds, as we have loads of them at the feeding table. Around Sept / Oct each year some of the males start changing their plumage from "non-breeding" to "breeding". Whilst the plumage undergoes a change, so does the "personality" as well. They become quite comical as they try to lure the little females with their antics. This makes for hours of entertaining birdwatching from my kitchen window.

In 1998 I observed a little 'albino' with the flock. I did not expect him to live very long (as is the case with most albinos in the wild), but he returned to the feeding table on a daily basis for the next FIVE years! I honestly did not think these little birds lived that long at all!!!

According to the Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - Fifth Edition:-

"Female and non-breeding pin tailed whydah males Top of head broadly striped black and tawny; rest of upperparts tawny, streaked black; below white, washed buff on throat and breast, streaked black on flanks; red bill diagnostic.

Breeding male Above black; nape band, rump, wingbar and underparts white; small black crescent on either side of breast; 4 central rectrices greatly elongate, black (diagnostic)

Breeding males aggressive towards all birds at feeding station. In display male bounces in air with tail flipping up and down, moving in circle around female whilst chirping."
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DotDan
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by DotDan » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:00 am

Thanks Lee... that is very interesting :wink:

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by darth bangkok » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:14 am

Hello there,

Seen in KNP in September 2009.

This is a female or non-breeding male Pin-tailed Whydah.

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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:59 pm

Shitlhave dam

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The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by Barcud » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:26 pm

Hi again MM,

Pin-tailed Whydah for the flamboyant one!

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Johann
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Re: Whydah: Pin-tailed Whydah

Unread post by Johann » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:45 pm

Taken near Crooks' Corner in January 2011.

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Re: Whydah: Pin-tailed Whydah

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:11 am

I took these pix a good 30 months ago. They have been sitting in my "Unidentified folder" for all that time. This month I made a concerted effort to get them identified... after all, the shots are good, with all features visible!

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Large size

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Large size

With the help of birding gurus Niall Perrins and Johan Grobbelaar, the identity of these birds were eventually made as juvenile pin-tailed whydahs. Roberts VII warns that confusion with many other species is possible at this age. The bill will start to turn red from the base within days after independance while the very prominent white tubercles will start to shrink away.

I thought it would be a good idea to post them here as none of the bird guides have a good illustration of a very young juvenile. Newmans' and Sasol's efforts both fail to show the buffy supercilium and cheeks nor the slightly darker eye stripe. The pin-tailed whydah is a brood parasite that mainly (in South Africa) uses the common waxbill as host to its chicks. :lol: So, even if you did see the "mom" confusion is likely to reign!
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arks
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by arks » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:16 am

I really haven't a clue what this little bird is. There aren't many birds with such a distinctive bright red beak and the markings — especially that chesnut crown — don't seem to match up with anything in my Newman's. From the markings on the head, my first thought was a bunting, but none of those have bright red beaks. Birds like quelea or female bishops or whydahs, which have red or reddish beaks, all have pale legs and this bird appears to have dark legs, so I'm stumped! :wall: What am I missing here? :hmz:

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:19 am

arks, possibly non-breeding Pin-tailed Wydah?
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by pantera leo » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:09 am

Agree with Josh, either a non-breeding or female Pin-tailed Whydah.

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Re: Whydah: Pin-tailed Whydah

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:11 pm

Image

Next to my bird feeder. I'll try to get a clearer picture once I have my tripod. It is a very fiesty little bird. I often see it chase much bigger birds away.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by granjan » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:26 pm

Can anyone identify this youngster? I took this pic a couple of days ago at Rondevlei in Cape Town.
There were common waxbills in a nearby tree but this doesn't look like any juvenile I can find.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by wildtuinman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:06 am

Granjan, the Pin-tailed Whydah parasitizes Common Waxbills. This looks like a young Pin-tailed Whydah.
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