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Red-collared Widowbird - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Alan Manson
Location: Cedara, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, December 2009
Euplectes ardens


Length 12 cm; breeding male 25 cm.

Breeding adult male: Black with long tail (thinner tail than other long-tailed widowbirds); lacks coloured shoulder patches. West African birds are all-black, and south-eastern birds have a red throat collar, while both forms are found in the northeast part of the range.

Female and non-breeding male: Brown with a boldly striped black and buff head and unstreaked, buffy underparts.


Africa: Senegal and Sierra Leone east to southern South Sudan and western Uganda, south to central Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and eastern South Africa.


Red-cowled Widowbird was formerly included in this species.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Stevenson, T. & J Fanshawe 2020. Birds of East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi) - second edition. Helm Field Guides, Christooher Helm London. ISBN 978-1-4081-5736-7

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