Mystery Bird: Jackson's Widowbird, Euplectes jacksoni

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[Mystery bird] Jackson's Widowbird, Euplectes jacksoni, photographed in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania, Africa. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]

Image: Dan Logen, February 2010 [larger view].

Nikon D2X, 600 x 1.4, ISO 320, f/5.6, 1/800 sec.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.

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I don't know how to be cryptic about this one without being too obvious. I think it's a moonwalking relative of yesterdays bird, bereaved perhaps.

In an amazing coincidence I have just been watching the courtship dance of this bird on the BBC's Natural World programme on the African Rift Valley.

Yes, It's a male Jackson's Widowbird, Euplectes jacksoni, in breeding plumage. The thick decurved tail, brown shoulders and brown edgings give the game away. It also clears a "dance floor" in the grassland habitat and bounces about like a mad thing to attract a female, similar to Birds of Paradise. (as seen on the BBC).