The weaver bird family

There are 117 living species in the weaver bird family (Ploceidae), excluding the sparrows of genus Passer, see species list here. Read more about the family here.

Latest Weaver Wednesday
Thick-billed Weaver

Accepted: 27233
(Uploaded: 27233)

Total nests counted: 8087831

Latest weaver links:
141 Red-billed Buffalo-weaver in flight
140 Weavers ringed in Entebbe
139 Baglafecht Weaver with grass seeds

Todays weaver type: (see more here)
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Latest weaver news

Weaver Wednesday 4 [279] - Weaver themes [16]: New weaver longevities

2017-10-18 (804)

Weaver Wednesday 4: Weaver themes (Series)

New weaver longevities

Red-billed Buffalo-weaver

This species is harder to catch than most weavers, and thus the longevity record was a mere 4 years (ring 5H17931). On 21 Oct 2006 Frik du Plooy ringed a Red-billed Buffalo-weaver at Wolfhuiskraal Farm, north of Pretoria, South Africa, as an adult female. Nine years later Frik was near the farm when he observed a Pearl-spotted owlet that caught this weaver. The new longevity record for this weaver is 9y 9m 25d (ring D55851).

Thick-billed Weaver

The longevity record was 10 years (ring 4H16349), for an adult female. On 18 Sept 1995 Susan Schoeman ringed a Thick-billed Weaver in Lydenburg, South Africa. The bird was sexed as an adult female but with mass 49g, indicating that it should have been listed as a male (and presumably an immature male, else it would have been listed as an adult male). Brian Jones found this bird dead 21 years later, near the aviary at the Moholoholo rehab centre, 76kms from the ringing site. A photo of the bird and ring were sent to SAFRING, confirming that the ring number was not misread. The photo also shows that the bird was an adult male.

The new longevity record for this weaver is 21y 6m 2d (ring 493950).

This is a new world record for any weaver in the wild, increasing the previous record by several years (16.5 years for a Seychelles Fody). There are several records of weavers exceeding 20 years in captivity.

Ring 493950
Ring 493950

Weaver Wednesday 4 [278] - Weaver themes [15]: Genus Anaplectes

2017-10-11 (803)

Weaver Wednesday 4: Weaver themes (Series)

Genus Anaplectes

Red-headed Weaver
Red-headed Weaver male, A.r. leuconotos
Red-headed Weaver
Red-headed Weaver female, A.r. leuconotos
Red-headed Weaver
Red-headed Weaver map
Red-headed Weaver, A.r. jubaensis
(no photos)
The Red-headed Weaver is in a
monotypic genus (only one
species in the genus),
although the 3 subspecies
have been upgraded to
species level in the latest
"Handbook of the Birds of
the World".

Differences in Male mask (MM),
and Primary edges (PE):
leuconotos - MM black mask, PE red
jubaensis - MM black lores, PE red
rubriceps - MM red head, PE yellow

Red-headed Weaver
Red-headed Weaver male, A.r. rubriceps
Red-headed Weaver
Red-headed Weaver female, A.r. rubriceps

Proposed names of the 3 new species ("Handbook of the Birds of the World"):
A. leuconotos - Northern Red-headed Weaver
A. jubaensis - Red Weaver
A. rubriceps - Southern Red-headed Weaver

These taxa are fairly similar, although the Red Weaver is very poorly known. Also, having split the Red-headed Weaver into 3 species, may result in birders and ornithologists finding more differences in biology.
Read about the Red-headed Weaver.

Weaver Wednesday 4 [277] - Weaver themes [14]: Genera Brachycope, Pachyphantes

2017-10-04 (802)

Weaver Wednesday 4: Weaver themes (Series)

Genera Brachycope, Pachyphantes

Bob-tailed Weaver
Bob-tailed Weaver pair
Compact Weaver
Compact Weaver pair
The Bob-tailed Weaver and Compact Weaver are both in monotypic genera (only one species in the genus). Males of both species are slightly yellowish with a black mask, while females and non-breeding males are brownish with uniform buff underparts. Both species have short tails. The Bob-tailed Weaver is smaller than the Compact Weaver in wing, tail and bill lengths.

The Bob-tailed Weaver has a restricted range along the Congo and other rivers in central Africa. The Compact Weaver has a more widespread, but patchy, distribution in West, central and east Africa. There is minimal overlap in range for the 2 species. The Bob-tailed Weaver is found in grassy clearings near large rivers in rain-forest. The Compact Weaver occurs in grassland or grassy savanna while breeding, and more wooded areas the rest of the year. Both species feed mainly on seeds but also insects and other items.

Both species appear to be monogamous breeders. The nest is a sphere with a side entrance. The eggs of the Bob-tailed Weaver are uniform dark grey, different to the colour of most weaver eggs, and not a common colour for bird eggs. The eggs of the Compact Weaver are palin or marked.

Although these 2 species are superficially similar, the Bob-tailed Weaver is usually considered to be closely related to the quelea and/or bishop species, while the Compact Weaver is generally considered to be closer to the Thick-billed Weaver. No genetic work has been done on these 2 species yet.

Measures of Bob-tailed Weaver and Compact Weaver in mm to show size differences:

Species wing tail bill tarsus mass
Bob-tailed Weaver 55-63 27-32 13-15 19-22 20-30
Compact Weaver 64-71 41-46 17-19 17-20 19-25

The short-tailed weaver species:
Bob-tailed Weaver Brachycope anomala
Compact Weaver Pachyphantes superciliosus

Bob-tailed Weaver (lime) and Compact Weaver (purple)

Weaver Wednesday 4 [276] - Weaver themes [13]: Genus Foudia

2017-09-27 (801)

Weaver Wednesday 4: Weaver themes (Series)

Genus Foudia

The fodies are endemic to some Indian Ocean islands. There are seven fody species, genus Foudia: (Madagascar) Red Fody, Forest Fody, Seychelles Fody, Rodrigues Fody, Mauritius Fody, Red-headed or Comores Fody, and the Aldabra Fody. This group is native to the islands of the western lndian Ocean (Madagascar, Comoros, Aldabra, the Mascarenes and the Seychelles). There is no overlap of species, except for the Madagascar Fody which overlaps with all other fody species in at least a part of their range, after being introduced to many islands.

All fody species are sexually dimorphic with adult males exhibiting brightly coloured plumage in shades of deep red, orange or bright yellow at least during the breeding season. The difference in the sexes is slight, however, in the Seychelles Fody. Females and non-breeding males are dull coloured. The males of two species have yellow in the plumage, the others red, although some Madagascar and Aldabra Fody males are flavistic (red replaced by yellow feathers). The bill varies from conical to slender in different species.

Most of the fody species occur in forest and woodland, which were the original habitats on their islands, although the Madagascar Fody is found in more open habitats.

The nest of all fodies is similar, being a globular structure with a side entrance near the top, often with a small porch over the entrance. Fody nests are more primitive than the nests of other weavers. Some fodies, and possibly all, build a roof on the nest, probably for waterproofing the nest.

Eggs are blue-green, and usually 3 are in a clutch, but the Seychelles Fody lays 1-2 white eggs. Incubation is by the female, and both sexes feed the nestlings.

The 7 living fody species:
Madagascar Fody Foudia madagascariensis
Forest Fody Foudia omissa
Seychelles Fody Foudia sechellarum - Seychelles
Aldabra Fody Foudia aldabrana - Aldabra
Comoro (Red-headed) Fody Foudia eminentissima - Comoros
Mauritius Fody Foudia rubra - Mauritius
Rodrigues Fody Foudia flavicans - Rodrigues

Seychelles Fody
Seychelles Fody
Rodrigues Fody
Rodrigues Fody
Forest Fody
Forest Fody
Aldabra Fody
Aldabra Fody
Comoro Fody
Comoro Fody
Mauritius Fody
Mauritius Fody
Madagascar Fody
Madagascar Fody

Weaver Wednesday 4 [275] - Weaver themes [12]: Genus Euplectes 4

2017-09-20 (800)

Weaver Wednesday 4: Weaver themes (Series)

The Euplectes genus will be covered in 4 visual groups: Black and red bishops (5 spp), black and yellow bishops (5 spp), blue-billed widows (2 spp), long-tailed widows (5+1 spp). The Yellow-mantled Widowbird will also be covered in the "black and yellow" group. The Red-collared Widow is genetically closest to the bishops but is covered in the visual "long tailed" group.

Genus Euplectes 4. black and yellow bishops

There are four bishops and a widowbird where the males in breeding plumage have black and yellow body plumage. These are all in the same genus, but are not each other's closest relatives. Other Euplectes species are black but have some yellow on the wing shoulder in some subspecies (White-winged Widow, Marsh Widowbird and Montane Marsh Widowbird).

These bishops are small to medium sized weavers living mainly in moist grasslands, but also in a variety of other habitats. Their tails are of short to medium length. The bill is short and conical as the primary diet is seeds. The eyes are brown. The females are brown all year, and are smaller than the males.

The Fire-fronted Bishop occurs in East Africa, the Golden-backed Bishop is restricted to coastal Angola, and the other 3 species occur fairly widely across Africa.

These bishops are territorial and polygynous. The nest is a thin-walled oval structure of coarse grass with a side entrance, sometimes with a porch over the entrance.

Black and yellow bishops:
Golden-backed Bishop Euplectes aureus
Fire-fronted Bishop Euplectes diadematus
Yellow-crowned Bishop Euplectes afer
Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
Yellow-mantled Widowbird Euplectes macroura

Fire-fronted Bishop
Fire-fronted Bishop male
Golden-backed Bishop
Golden-backed Bishop male
birdpix 37065
Yellow-crowned Bishop male
birdpix 29263
Yellow Bishop male
Yellow-mantled Widowbird
Yellow-mantled Widowbird
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