Family Whydahs and Indigobirds (Viduidae)

Least Concern

Jos Plateau Indigobird (Vidua maryae)


French: Combassou du Jos German: Jos-Plateau-Witwe Spanish: Viuda del Jos

Vidua funerea maryae


, 1982,

Panshanu, 30 miles [c. 50 km] east of Jos, Nigeria


Originally described as a race of V. funerea, but research suggests that it is not closely related to latter and is a distinct species. Monotypic.


On and near Jos Plateau, in N Nigeria; also N Cameroon#R.

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; 12–14·5 g. Male breeding is black with green to blue-green gloss, concealed flank spot white; tail brown, upperwing with inner three secondaries and... read more


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


Base of rocky outcrops in semi-arid Guinean savanna in relatively undisturbed land, at 800–... read more

Food and feeding

Small grass seeds, taken from ground. Male and females feed in male territory in breeding season.


Breeding season probably Sept/Oct–Dec, inferred from observation of birds in breeding plumage, song, courtship behaviour and mating.... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Occurs in a restricted range in N Nigeria on and near Jos Plateau: observed at Kagoro, Jos (Taboru, Bukuru), Panshanu Pass, and Dok-Pai hills (near... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Jos Plateau Indigobird (Vidua maryae). 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 26 March 2019).