Family Whydahs and Indigobirds (Viduidae)

Least Concern

Quailfinch Indigobird (Vidua nigeriae)


French: Combassou du Nigéria German: Grünschwanzwitwe Spanish: Viuda nigeriana

Hypochera nigeriae


, 1908,

Kiri, Gongola River, northern Nigeria


Formerly considered a race of V. chalybeata; often treated as conspecific with V. wilsoni, V. larvaticola and V. camerunensis; has been regarded as a race of V. funerea, but differs from that species in size, plumage and song mimicry. Monotypic.


Gambia (old records), S Mali (Bouche de Baoulé, Kara), Ghana (Sung, R Yombaba), NC & E Nigeria, NC Cameroon, and S South Sudan (Yei).

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; 10–14 g. Male breeding is black with dull green gloss (under mid-day sun may appear black, blue or purplish), concealed white flank spot; tail brown,... read more


Song churring and scratchy, mixed with imitations of songs and calls of African Quailfinch.... read more


Open grassy areas with scattered bushes or trees, open ground, grassy floodplains, rice fields,... read more

Food and feeding

Small grass seeds, taken from surface of ground. Breeding male feeds in his breeding territory; family group of hosts and young feed... read more


In N Nigeria, males in breeding plumage, song and courtship and mating in Jul and Sept–Nov, females with egg in oviduct Oct–Nov... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Distribution extremely local; species perhaps widely overlooked. Known from very few sites, widely scattered; these include type locality on Gongola-... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Quailfinch Indigobird (Vidua nigeriae). 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 13 December 2019).