Courtship dance of the Pin-tailed Whydah (video)

on 14th September 2015

Kumchun Chan’s video of the courtship dance by the male Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) was recorded at Punggul Barat on 21st April 2015.

The male is seen bouncing up and down in flight close by the female perching on a branch on a tall grass inflorescence. This goes on for some time before the female finally flying off, obviously not interested in the male’s advances. The male then flies off in the opposite direction.

The Pin-tailed Whydah was first reported in 2008 at Changi Cove. An attractive but 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 nesting!

Note: The image at the top showing a male Pin-tailed Whydah displaying in front of a female is photographed by Johnny Wee from a different location.

Kumchun Chan
September 2015

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

3 Responses

  1. Johnny, if I am not mistaken the Whydah is a brood parasite. Not sure if it has specific hosts to target in its native habitat or they are able to adapt and target a similar host in Singapore.

  2. How right Yeow Chin is! Kumchun’s Pin-tailed Whydah courtship video is quite wonderful,and even a writer like myself will grant, no words however lyrical could possibly approximate to the stunning realism of a video! I could watch it over and over…how sad that it was unrequited love! Very interesting recent new arrival in Singapore, this bird.

    Ilsa, in Perth, W. Australia

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