The long-tailed Paradise Whydah or Eastern Paradise Whydah (Vidua paradisaea) is a small brown sparrow-like bird of Eastern Africa, from eastern South Sudan to southern Angola. During the breeding season the male moults into breeding plumage that consists of a black head and back, rusty brown breast, bright yellow nape, and buffy white abdomen with broad, elongated black tail feathers up to 36 cm long (approximately three times the length of its body). Males and females are almost indistinguishable outside of the breeding season. It is a brood parasite to the green-winged pytilia. Male long-tailed paradise Whydahs imitate the song of the male green-winged pytilia. The Whydah chicks are larger and louder than the host chicks, so the foster parents will give them more attention than their own chicks. Although difficult to breed in captivity because of their brood parasitic nature, these finches, particularly the males, are sold as pets in the United States and other countries.
Geography: Eastern Africa
Song/Call: Click to hear the Long-tailed Paradise Whydah
Size/Weight: 5.5″ / 16 to 22 g
Sexing: When in breeding plumage, the male has a black bill, black head, chestnut nape, rufous breast, buffy underparts, black back and wings, with black dual-length ornamental tail feathers, and dark grayish feet. When not in breeding plumage, they are identical to females, making them very difficult to sex.
If there is no gender option listed for a bird on our website, that particular species is ‘monomorphic’, which means we’re unable to determine gender without purchasing DNA testing. DNA testing is an additional $149 per bird to guarantee preferred gender. DNA testing may add an additional 3-6 plus weeks to estimated delivery time to allow for gender results. See our FAQs for more info.
Temperament: Generally peaceful, but some individuals can be aggressive, especially in the breeding season.
Breeding: Males and females are almost indistinguishable outside of the breeding season. It is a brood parasite to the green-winged pytilia. Male long-tailed paradise whydahs imitate the song of the male Green-Winged Pytilia. The whydah chicks are larger and louder than the host chicks, so the foster parents will give them more attention than their own chicks. When breeding these birds in captivity, a single male is usually given access to multiple females and each female needs access to multiple active Green-Winged Pytilia nests.
Diet: Millet, Classic Finch Seed, Australian Blend Goldenfeast, greens and sprouted seeds