Breeding male © Kevin Vande Vusse eBird S45725305 Macaulay Library ML 100443581
Female © Laurie Koepke
Nonbreeding male © Fanis Theofanopoulos (ASalafa Deri)
Female © Adrian Hinkle
Nonbreeding male © Akis Gaitanakis
+ 2
Breeding male © Tom Beeke

Red-cowled Widowbird Euplectes laticauda

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A small widowbird. The breeding male is jet black, with a crimson collar and crown, and a 20-centimeter floppy graduated tail. The female and non-breeding male have dark streaked upperparts, pale unstreaked or faintly streaked underparts, with a buffy band across the breast, and a yellowish eyebrow and face, and lack the long tail. Pairs breed at middle and high elevations, in open grassland, savanna, scrub, and cultivated areas. The species may flock, often with other seedeaters, and move locally when breeding is over. Breeding males are distinctive, but non-breeding males and females can be confused with many other species. Can be tentatively identified by the lack of red or yellow in the wing, along with a buffy breast that is unstreaked or only lightly streaked.