Animal Stories - Pintail Whydah


Animal-World Information about: Pintail Whydah

   These are fine birds to enjoy for their antics and the splendid breeding plumage of the male. The Pintail Whydah is one of the most common forms of Whydah available.
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Nelly - 2013-05-04
I have a male Pintail Whydah who is not hand tamed at all. His nails started getting too long and making it difficult for him to get around. I tried to very carefully trim them but the clenched his feet and I was too scared I'll hurt him if I tried to separate his toes. After this I decided to let a vet or breeder do it. While I started looking for someone who could do this, I noticed his nails getting shorter and caught him in the act of biting them off. Make sure your Whydah cannot catch itself on anything in its cage if its nails are long. If it is not hand tamed and you are not experienced in trimming nails then find someone who is experienced to do it for you. If the preceding is not an option then don't panic. Apparently Whydahs will give themselves a pedicure when they get annoyed enough with the situation. While it is not recommended that you put sandpaper covers on their perch (it hurts their feet), I have cut a sandpaper perch cover in half and taped it to the bottom half of his favourite perch. That way his nails get filed when they are long enough to reach the paper, but he is never standing on the sand paper. Hope this information is helpful to someone.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-04
    That's some great information about their nails. I am glad to know Pintail Whydah will give themselves a pedicure! I had an untamed male kept in an aviary and never had an issue with its nails, must have taken care of it himself. For other finches I've kept in cages, I usually provide just one sandpaper perch, and the others not, so they aren't forced to be on this type of perch non-stop. It has worked well.
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Dan Hubbard - 2012-08-17
We have a male pintailed finch in our front yard where I have been feeding birds for years. He has the very long tail now. I may have seen a female this morning; quite small, same coloration and orange beak, but without the long tail. His song is very nice. I recognize it now. He has been around for about three or four weeks. Really special! We are in northwest Fullerton.

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Nightingale - 2012-08-12
I was blown away to see a male Pin-tailed Whyda in my Brea, CA back yard early this morning! He had been singing for several minutes when I went to look to see the newcomer. Unmistakeable between the bright reddish-orange conical bill and the remarkable tail feathers! Will look for his return and his lady friends. Thank you to those from northern Orange County, CA who posted about observing Pin-tailed Whydas - I wouldn't have rested until I had identified the bird.

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Norma Voge - 2011-07-28
Norma Voge - 2011-07-28
I live in Chino Hills as well, I've had one in my backyard for about three days now. My family and I have been enjoying his antics very much. He's been chasing all other birds out of my yard. We had seen one two years ago. That time my husband and I witnessed his courtship. It was the most beautiful display of moves. He would shake his tail and then fly up, and with the help of his tail, would drop down spinning it like a pair of helicopter rotor blades. It was truly fascinating. We're hoping to get to see this again

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-28
    I'd just have to pick it up
  • irene - 2011-09-20
    Glad you posted. I'm in Diamond Bar, and a male in full plumage showed up today and chased my zillions of common yard birds away. Then he strutted about the patio, eating millet seeds, since I don't put out anything fancy. It occurs to me that I photographed a bird I didn't recognize two days ago, and it may be his female. But where would they lay eggs? I have no waxbills...all my finches are common house finches, and a half dozen wandering spice finches (just had a brood of about 10 little ones show up 3 days ago, to feed each morning). Do you know if the whyda would follow the spice finches, or use their nest?
  • Louise Ridinger - 2011-10-10
    10/10/11 I also live in Chino Hills and have had so much fun watching the pintailed whydahs. There is a male in full plumage and two females. They have been here for about two months and often come when I "call". Even though I thought this was a rariety, it has been so much fun! God is so good!
  • Linda - 2012-06-14
    We live in Chino Hills and saw a whydah for the first time this evening. He is so beautiful! How can we encourage him to stay around?
  • jane Barber - 2012-07-21
    I spotted a pin-tailed whydah iin my backyard on July 19 and 21, 2012. This year l bad blue birds nesting in my back yard, but last year I did not. So, my whydah may be taking advantage of other bird's nests -Like the many finches l have in my back yard. I live on the west side of Pensacola.
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KayDee - 2012-07-18
Seen 18 July 2012 in Pensacola, FL - male and female together. Earlier saw a male bluebird accompanied by three sparrow-like young. Wonder if the Whydahs had parasitized the bluebirds nesting in my yard since there appears to be a pair.

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DLPW - 2009-09-19
I spotted and took photos of the Pin-Tailed Whydah on July 11, 2009. I live in Cantonment, FL and while bird watching in my back yard as usual, this unusual visitor came in, fighting with a Mockingbird before settling on the ground around the base of one of my feeders for a short time. Until today, I didn't know what he was. Glad to see someone else in the surrounding area (Milton and Pensacola) have also seen this beauty!


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Martine - 2008-07-17
And here I thought I was special! A male Pintail Whydah chose my backyard as his playground in the Spring of 2007. I live in East Orange in Southern California -- just a few miles from Tustin. I felt so blessed! Every morning I looked forward to seeing him and his antics and hearing his high-pitched sounds. I got quite attached to the little fellow. He never seemed to be very successful with the ladies though. Not that he didn't try... Then mid October, one day of cool weather and drizzle, and he vanished. I hoped he had simply decided to move on to warmer climates. Bad timing though, as a few days later the devastating San Diego wildfires started and raged on for days. I thought of Whydee and hoped he had made it through. Then this Spring (May 12), to my amazement, there he stood in the middle of my lawn, letting me know with his familiar racket that he was back. He had lost his tail and his breeding plumage, but I just knew it was him. He has been hanging around ever since, looking prettier and his tail growing every day. Throughout the day, he comes and taps on the windows. He is very assertive and unafraid, but still has no success with the female population of assorted species who frequent my bird feeder. I am now thinking that I should call the local pet shops and find him a mate. I feel I owe him that... Is that crazy?

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  • Marilyn Martin - 2011-08-28
    How fun for you that little whydah kept coming to see you, FYI, I just purchased one a couple of months ago and just love him his song is very
    pretty, I bought him at the Chino Swap Meet, you should get one for inside.
    He was only $30. I noticed this was 3 years ago is he still coming around?
    my email is angelhairr1@verizon.net. BTW they have girls and boys there. Have fun!
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Clifford Bestall - 2012-02-07
I simply cannot understand why people would want to cage and deny birds their freedom. I think this is deeply regrettable. Leave animals in nature please.

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Jeanne - 2010-08-09
We live in Tustin, CA and we have at least two pin tailed Whydah males and four females, duskier color on wings and no long tail. They frequent the ground under the finch feeders, are somewhat aggressive to other birds, but also have a much lower startle threshold than the Lesser Goldfinch. They arrive in the early morning or late afternoon and we can tell when they are in the area as they have a sort of high pitched shriek, unlike the twitter of the native finches. They are beautiful, but I am concerned that if they are parasitic breeders, they might compete heavily with our native birds.

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  • melinda - 2010-08-10
    Would you have a photo of the female whydah? I would like to be able to id the female. Thanks.
  • Jana Palermo - 2010-08-12
    Hi Jeanne:

    I live in Anaheim Hills, CA and just saw one at my bird feeders for the first time. Are they escaped exotics?

    "Jana"
  • Marilyn Martin - 2011-08-28
    Probably someone was breeding them and they got away, I purchased mine at the chino swap meet, I love him he sings so pretty.
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Marilyn Martin - 2011-08-28
Marilyn Martin - 2011-08-28
I purchased a Pintail Whydah at the Chino Swap Meet on Euclid & Riverside in Chino, CA. I just love him, he has the prettiest singing sounds and not obnoxious sounding, he was only $30, I actually prefer him over a canary now, I also have a canary, Green Singer and European Goldfinch, all singing birds. So far my Goldfinch hasn't sang at all since I purchased him over a month ago? Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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