Red-collared widowbird, Euplectes ardens also known as the red-collared whydah, red-collared widow or red-naped widowbird, the eastern red-collared widowbird and the long-tailed black whydah.The Red-collared widowbird, Euplectes ardens, a member of the weaverbird family, Ploceidae. This species is common throughout arid and semiarid subtropical and tropical lowland grasslands and shrublands of sub-Saharan Africa.
Adult males of this highly sexually dichromatic species are a distinctive black with a long thin tail when in breeding plumage and, to my eye, cannot be mistaken for anything else. However, adult females and juveniles are a different matter altogether, and are frequently mistaken for a number of their congeners — even in museum collections. (Fortunately, non-breeding adult males retain their black primaries, which makes it easier to identify them, at least.) But females and juveniles have black-and-buff striped heads, relatively unstriped buffy underparts and they lack any colorful wing patches that some of the other Euplectes have, making it possible to distinguish this species from local congeners. Although the males have a brilliant red collar in breeding plumage, females choose their mates based solely by tail length, not on the intensity of the red neck collar
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