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Photographer's Note

Longtailed Widow (Euplectes progne): The largest widow in Southern Africa. The breeding male is unmistakeable with its extra long tail and a bright red shoulder bordered by a whitish stripe. Found in open grassland, especially valleys and damp areas.

We came across this bird as we were driving through the Marievale Bird Sanctuary. I used a fill-in flash, but would have liked to see more detail in the bird's body. It would have also been great if the bird's eyes were more visible, but the sunlight from the back and the range of the flash obviously didn't allow for that.

However, I am posting this mainly for the pose of the bird that is captured here. After taking a couple of photos it seemed as if the Widow was getting irritated with us. In this shot he is looking straight at us while ruffling his feathers, as if saying "back off, buddy!" :-)

By the way, the Afrikaans name of this bird is much more descriptive. We call it a "Langstertflap", which translated means something like "long-tailed flap". The bird makes unmistakeable flapping movements with his big tail when he flies.

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Additional Photos by Henry Engelbrecht (henrye) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 675 W: 66 N: 432] (3500)
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