Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Red-cowled Widowbird (Euplectes laticauda)


French: Euplecte à nuque rouge German: Kapuzenweber Spanish: Obispo encapuchado

Fringilla laticauda

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,



Hitherto treated as conspecific with E. ardens, but differs in its shorter tail (effect size for longer-tailed race suahelicus vs ardens 2.92; score 2); red cowl vs all-black crown (3); retention of black tail when non-breeding (2); more streaked breast when non-breeding (1); reportedly higher-altitude occurrence (possibly 1). Molecular data indicate that these two species are long-tailed bishops, not closely allied to other widowbirds. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. l. laticauda (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – highlands of E South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • E. l. suahelicus (van Someren, 1921) – highlands of Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

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    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. (2018). Red-cowled Widowbird (Euplectes laticauda). 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 16 October 2018).