/hwid"euh, wid"euh/, n.
1. any of several small African finches of the subfamily Viduinae, the males of which have elongated, drooping tail feathers during the breeding season.
2. any of several African weaverbirds of the genus Euplectes, the males of which have similar long tails. Also, whidah. Also called widow bird.
[1775-85; alter. of WIDOW (BIRD) to make name agree with that of a town in Benin, West Africa, one of its haunts]

* * *

also spelled  Whidah, or Wydah,  also called  Widowbird,  

      any of several African birds that have long dark tails suggesting a funeral veil. They belong to two subfamilies, Viduinae and Ploceinae, of the family Ploceidae (order Passeriformes). The name is associated with Whydah (Ouidah), a town in Benin where the birds are common.

      In the Viduinae, each species of the genus Vidua (probably eight or nine species, including those assigned by some authorities to the genera Steganura, Hypochera, or Tetraenura) is a social parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of a particular species of weaver finch for incubation and development. Males are mostly black and have four central tail feathers greatly elongated; body length is about 10 to 13 centimetres (4 to 5 inches). Common species are the pin-tailed whydah (V. macroura), the shaft-tailed whydah (V. regia), and the broad-tailed paradise whydah (V. orientalis), perhaps a race of the paradise whydah (V. paradisaea).

      Male whydahs of the Ploceinae resemble the viduines. An example is the black whydah (Coliuspasser ardens), called red-collared whydah in eastern Africa. The male in Jackson's whydah (C., sometimes Drepanoplectes, jacksoni), clears a dancing ground for himself, leaving a tall bunch of grass in the middle, and is visited there by females; the similarity to bowerbird behaviour is striking. Ploceine whydahs are not parasitic. Because they behave like bishop (q.v.) birds, some authors include them in that genus, Euplectes.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whydah — Gally Le Whydah Gally, parfois écrit Whidah ou Whidaw, était un navire qui servit au commerce triangulaire avant sa capture par le pirate Samuel Bellamy. Le navire a coulé dans une tempête au large de cap Cod, le 26 avril 1717, noyant… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Whydah — may refer in English to:* Kingdom of Whydah which included Ouidah but was headquartered in Savi. * Indigobird * the colonial Ouidah fort in present Benin * the galley style ship The Whydah Gally captained by pirate Black Sam Bellamy …   Wikipedia

  • Whydah — ist: Whydah (Schiff), das Sklaven und Piratenschiff des englische Piraten Sam Bellamy ein anderer Name für: Ouidah, ein Ort in Benin Sahé, ein ehemaliges westafrikanisches Königreich …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Whydah — (Widah, Weida, Ajuda), Hafenplatz der französisch westafrikan. Kolonie Dahomé, Sitz des Gouverneurs, eines deutschen Konsuls und einer französischen Mission, mit etwa 15,000 Einw. Die Warenlager der europäischen Firmen liegen an der Meeresküste,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Whydah — Whydah, Stadt in Dahome, s. Ajuda …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • whydah — našlytės statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Vidua angl. whydah vok. Witwe, f rus. вдовушка, f pranc. combassou, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – našlytiniai siauresnis terminas – blizgioji našlytė siauresnis terminas – daržinė …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • whydah — noun Etymology: alteration of widow (bird) Date: 1783 any of various mostly brownish African passerine birds (genera Euplectes and Vidua) often kept as cage birds and distinguished in the male by black and white plumage and by long tail feathers… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • whydah — noun name for various African, black and white weaverbirds with distinctive drooping long tail feathers on males in mating season, suitable as cage birds …   Wiktionary

  • whydah — [ wɪdə] (also whyda) noun 1》 an African weaver bird, the male of which has a black back and a very long black tail used in display flight. [Genus Vidua: several species.] 2》 another term for widowbird. Origin C18 (orig. widow bird): alt. by assoc …   English new terms dictionary

  • whydah — whyd·ah …   English syllables

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.