Vidua obtusa (Broad-tailed paradise-whydah) 

BreŽstertparadysvink [Afrikaans]; Harusira (generic term for whydahs) [Kwangali]; Nyambubundu (also applied to Long-tailed whydah) [Shona]; Breedstaart-paradijswida [Dutch]; Veuve de Chapin [French]; Breitschwanz-paradieswitwe [German]; Viķva-do-paraŪso-de-cauda-larga [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Viduidae

Vidua obtusa (Broad-tailed paradise-whydah)   

Broad-tailed paradise-whydah male, London Zoo, UK. [photo Graham Smith ©]


Distribution and habitat

Occurs from Uganda through Tanzania, southern DRC, Angola and Zambia to southern Africa. Here it is locally common in central and northern Mozambique, Zimbabwe, north-eastern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), generally preferring miombo (Brachystegia) and other broad-leaved woodland types, especially with grassy vegetation along drainage lines with nearby fallow cultivated fields. 

Distribution of Broad-tailed paradise-whydah in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).


It mainly eats grass seeds taken from the ground, sometimes joining mixed-species foraging flocks along with other whydah species. The following food items have been recorded to be eaten in captivity:

  • Grass seeds
    • Panicum maximum (Guinea grass)
    • Panicum shinzii (Sweet grass)
    • Hyparrhenia hirta (Common thatching grass)


  • It is a polygynous brood parasite, with only one known host - Pytilia afra (Orange-winged pytilia).
  • It lays 1 egg per day in sets of three, taking a few days break between sets; egg-laying season is mainly from February-March.
  • The chicks hatch after about 12-13 days of incubation and are reared alongside Orange-winged pytilia chicks, often fledging together in a mixed brood.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 



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