The shaft-tailed whydah or queen whydah (Vidua regia) is a small, sparrow-like bird. During the breeding season the male has black crown and upper body plumage, golden breast and four elongated black tail shaft feathers with expanded tips. After the breeding season is over, the male sheds its long tail and grows olive brown female-like plumage.

Habitat and Distribution

The shaft-tailed whydah is distributed in open habitats and grasslands of Southern Africa, from south Angola to south Mozambique. Widespread and a common species throughout its large habitat range, the shaft-tailed whydah is evaluated as least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


The diet consists mainly of seeds


It is a brood parasite to the violet-eared waxbill. .