Family Whydahs and Indigobirds (Viduidae)

Least Concern

Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah (Vidua obtusa)


French: Veuve de Chapin German: Breitschwanzwitwe Spanish: Viuda coliancha

Steganura aucupum obtusa


, 1922,

Luchenza, Malawi


See remarks under V. paradisaea. Monotypic.


S & E DRCongo and SW Uganda S to N & C Angola, Tanzania (except NE), Zambia, Malawi, NW & S Mozambique, Botswana (Chobe), NE Namibia (Caprivi Strip) and N & SE Zimbabwe; old records from C Kenya and NE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm, breeding male 26–28 cm; 17·8-26 g. Male breeding has top and side of head black, nape dark coppery rufous, upperparts black, breast dark maroon, belly... read more


Songs and calls mimic those of Orange-winged Pytilia. Distinctive song with rattling note and fluty... read more


Miombo (Brachystegia) woodland and old cultivated fields, and grassland with riverine... read more

Food and feeding

Small grass seeds. In breeding season forages alone, or male feeds with one or more females, on bare ground, on edges of tracks and open... read more


Season Jan–Jul, from end of rains to well into dry season: males in breeding plumage Mar–Jul in DRCongo (Katanga), and large... read more


Resident, or locally nomadic. Large flocks occur at end of breeding season in upper R Zambezi, may... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common. In breeding season c. 2 birds/km in Zambia (Mkushi, Mazabuka, Choma) and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls, where best seen above the... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah (Vidua obtusa). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 May 2019).