Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Near Threatened

Jackson's Widowbird (Euplectes jacksoni)


French: Euplecte de Jackson German: Leierschwanzweber Spanish: Obispo de Jackson

Drepanoplectes jacksoni


, 1891,

Kikuyu, Kenya




Highlands of W & C Kenya S to N Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

14 cm, breeding male (including tail) 30 cm; male 40–49 g, female 29–42 g. Male breeding is almost entirely black, feathers of crown and nape with squared ends (... read more


Song from perch a series of sibilant notes; during jumping display, a wheezing, sizzling song.... read more


Open highland grassland at 1500–3000 m.

Food and feeding

Diet mainly grass seeds, particularly those of Themeda triandra, also Panicum; also insects, including alate termites (... read more


Breeds Dec–Jan and Apr–Jun, and recorded also in Aug–Sept and Nov in Kenya; timing in any year dependent on rains.... read more


Resident. One male recaptured 5 years after ringing, on new display ground 12 km from original site.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted range species: present in Kenyan Mountains EBA. Locally common within small range. This species'... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2020). Jackson's Widowbird (Euplectes jacksoni). 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 22 February 2020).