On 17th May 2013 Johnny Wee documented the courtship dance of a male Pin-tailed Whydar (Vidua macroura) at Punggol Barat grassland along Seletar North Link.
This bird, an escapee, has been documented as early as 2008 LINK. It is well sought after as a cage bird, especially the male with his long narrow tail feathers.
During courtship, the male sings nearly all day within a designated display area, chasing other males away. His display includes flying from tree to tree, flopping his tail feathers, especially when females arrive. Even when other species like sunbirds or shrikes are present, he exhibits his display.
In the images shown here, the male flies at a female on a perch, bounces over her in flight and waving his tail feathers. He may hovers in front or flies around her, with wings fluttering and closing alternately. Such displays may last for as long as five minutes.
Should the female be attracted to him, she may follow him to a feeding area where the pair feeds together. There, copulation may take place.
I had one in my backyard for 4 weeks putting on a show with it’s tail and singing. He was amazing!
Lee Chiu San
Next question – will there be a sustainable feral population? Whydahs are brood parasites of Estrildid finches. The closest equivalents in Singapore are the munias. Will they seek out munia nests in which to lay their eggs?
Bird Ecology Study Group Sighting of Pin-tailed Whydah Juveniles
[…] “The courtship of the Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) was first documented here in May 2013 LINK. […]
Bird Ecology Study Group Courtship dance of the Pin-tailed Whydah (video)
[…] unfamiliar bird then, it was deemed an escapee originating from south of Africa’s Sahara Desert. Courtship displays were regularly seen. Even juveniles had been sighted. But so far, no reports of […]