The Red-Collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens) is a small bird found in eastern and southern Africa.
The Red-Collared Widowbird is black with a long tail. It has white streaks on is back, wings, and undertail. It has a brilliant red crescent-shaped patch on its neck (collar) and crown (cap). When it is not breeding season, the male has brown feathers. Females are brown with a short tail. It has a grey beak and grey legs.
It grows to about 25 centimetres (10 inches) long. The tail on the male is 22 centimetres (8.5 inches) long.
The Red-Collared Widowbird is found in eastern and southern Africa, in countries such as Kenya and Tanzania. It prefers grasslands.
It feeds on seeds, such as grass seeds. It also feeds on insects, ants, termites, berries, and nectar from flowers.
The Red-Collared Widowbird lives in flocks of about 50-100 individuals. They feed together on the ground. Males are territorial, defending the area from intruders.
Its nest is oval-shaped on the ground, and is lined with grass. Females lay 2-4 grey or blue-green speckled eggs. Only the female sits on the eggs, which hatch after 12-15 days. Females feed their chicks for 14-17 days, then she leaves her chicks to look after themselves.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM