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White-winged Widowbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Leon
Pilansberg, South Africa, January 2004
Euplectes albonotatus


Length 14 cm (5½ in)
Adult breeding male:
Black with a blue-grey bill, yellow and white shoulder; white wing panels in flight.


  • eques has a browner shoulder patch
  • asymmetrurus male has a longer tail than other subspecies


Sub-Saharan Africa; Sudan and Ethiopia to South Africa.



Euplectes albonotatus has three subspecies.1

  • E. a. eques
  • E. a. asymmetrurus
  • E. a. albonotatus


Tall grassland with bushes, including tall grass in road verges and old lands; often moist or marshy areas.



Non-breeding birds forage in large flocks (often with other seed-eating species). Diet is mainly grass seeds; also nectar and insects.


Sings from an elevated perch: squee-squi-squeege. Also a rustling shwrrr.


Polygynous; male defends a territory of 0.1 to 0.2 ha and breeds with up to four females in a season. The oval nest is built using grass and has a side-top entrance. It is located in dense grass within 1.3 m of the ground. Two to four eggs are incubated for 12-14 days by the female; the nestling period is 11-14 days. Parasitised by Dideric Cuckoo.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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