Family Whydahs and Indigobirds (Viduidae)

Least Concern

Jambandu Indigobird (Vidua raricola)


French: Combassou jambandou German: Jambanduwitwe Spanish: Viuda de Jambandú

Vidua raricola


, 1982,

Banyo, Cameroon


Species named “raricola” because song was considered to mimic that of Black-bellied Firefinch (Lagonosticta rara); type series, however, included material of two species; specimen chosen as holotype of “Vidua raricola” proved to be of the form that instead is song mimic of Zebra Waxbill (Amandava subflava), whereas species that mimics song of L. rara now known to be V. camerunensis. Monotypic.


Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo#R, Nigeria, Cameroon, SW Sudan, S South Sudan, NE DRCongo, and W Ethiopia (Jimma).

Descriptive notes

10 cm; 10·5-15 g. Male breeding is black with bright green gloss, concealed white flank spot; tail brown, upperwing with inner three secondaries and coverts glossy black,... read more


Song churring, grating and scratchy, like those other indigobirds, mixed with imitations of songs... read more


Floodplains and edges of cultivation and grassy wetlands; rice fields, manioc (Manihot... read more

Food and feeding

Small grass seeds, taken from ground. Male feeds on his display territory, as also do females and juveniles. In mixed flocks with other... read more


Oviduct egg in Dec in Sierra Leone; males in breeding plumage, song, courtship and mating in Sept–Jan in Nigeria and Cameroon; male... read more


Resident, so far as known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Distribution appears to be very localized; species perhaps overlooked. Generally rather uncommon; locally common in manioc cultivations in N Cameroon.

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Jambandu Indigobird (Vidua raricola). 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 25 March 2019).