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
Orange Weaver

PHOWN:
Accepted: 25651
(Uploaded: 25651)

Total nests counted: 7964477

Latest weaver reference: BOOK CHAPTER: Significance of weavers

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

Weaver Wednesday [141] - Discovery [24]: Orange Weaver

2015-02-25 (624)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Orange Weaver Ploceus aurantius

Orange Weaver
Orange Weaver,
figure from Vieillot 1805
Orange Weaver
Orange Weaver bill (circled)
compared to other weavers,
figure from Swainson 1838
Orange Weaver map
Orange Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Orange Weaver was formally described by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. The birds had been collected by Jean Perrein, a French naturalist, who travelled in Africa and on other continents. Vieillot was interested in the habits of living birds, but Perrein did not seem to provide any field notes for the Orange Weaver, as he had done for the Crested Malimbe.

Vieillot mentioned that the Orange Weaver had been collected in the same area as the previous species in his publication, ie. the Crested Malimbe. Thus the type locality is Malimbe, now called Malembo, in Cabinda, Angola.

Perrein sent his specimens to Academy of Sciences in Bordeaux, France, from where the Orange Weaver type was moved to the Paris Museum (Swainson 1838).

Scientific citation

Malimbus aurantius Vieillot 1805 Ois. Chant. p.73 Malimbe.

Meaning of names

aurantia Mod. Latin aurantius, orange-coloured, tawny (aurantia, an orange).

Alternate names

Uganda Orange Weaver.

Collector

Jean Perrein.

Date collected

Before 1805.

Locality collected

Malimbe =Malembo, Cabinda, Angola.

Type specimens

Type specimen probably still in the Natural History Museum in Paris.

Quelea ringing at Vyevlei, 20-22 Feb 2015

2015-02-27 (623)
gazebo
Ringing in the gazebo
A team of ringers visited Vyevlei dairy farm to ring Red-billed Quelea and other birds, as a follow up visit from Jan 2014. The team included John Fincham, Barry and Sue Schultz, and Jade, Jarryd and Bill Dunn.

Friday afternoon and Saturday were very windy but we still had a constant catch of birds. Sunday morning was calm. We caught more quelea on the first visit, and had one recapture (ring A74114).

Average moult score for 58 adult quelea in Jan (2014) was 17.7 and for 40 adult quelea in Feb (2015) it was 26.1.

The Red-billed Quelea shows wide variation in bill and mask colour, as shown below.

Thanks to Mr Jurie de Kock for allowing us to camp and ring on the farm!

Ringing totals (total caught = 317 birds):

birdpix 15225
Red-billed Queleas at Vyevlei in
January 2015 by John Fincham

birdpix 15974
Black-winged Pratincole, found by John
Fincham, at a dam near the ringing site.
A bird way out of its normal range!
n English
13 Barn Swallow
1 Cape Bulbul
16 Lesser Swamp Warbler
1 African Sedge Warbler
1 Fiscal Shrike
1 European Starling
5 Cape Sparrow
48 Cape Weaver
85 Southern Masked Weaver
50 Red-billed Quelea
79 Southern Red Bishop
17 Common Waxbill

Weaver Wednesday [140] - Discovery [23]: Baglafecht Weaver

2015-02-17 (622)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht

Baglafecht Weaver
Baglafecht Weaver,
figure from Ferret & Galinier 1848
Baglafecht Weaver
James Bruce, first mentioned
the Baglafecht Weaver,
figure from wikipedia
Baglafecht Weaver map
Baglafecht Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Baglafecht Weaver was formally described by Francois Marie Daudin, a young French zoologist. For this species Daudin simply provided a scientific name for a bird described by Buffon.

The earliest reference to the Baglafecht Weaver is by Buffon in 1775, where he called it Le Baglafecht. Buffon provided a brief description of the species and noted that it came from Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

The Baglafecht Weaver was most probably noted by James Bruce, a Scottish traveller in North Africa and Ethiopia. Bruce travelled in Africa from 1768 to 1773, and later wrote some travel books. Bruce, and his assistant Luigi Balugani, painted over 300 plants, birds, and animals, but did not write much about the new fauna and flora he found. Murray, who wrote a biography on Bruce (1808), mentioned a painting of a bird called the yellow Bagla finch. Bruce met Buffon in France in 1773, and the painting by Bruce must have been the source for Buffon's description of the Baglafecht Weaver. Bruce was based mostly at Gondar, which is probably where he observed the Baglafecht Weaver.

Bruce's painting of the Baglafecht Weaver probably exists in a gallery, but it does not appear to have been published anywhere. The first published illustration of the Baglafecht Weaver appeared many decades after the bird was first described. Ferret and Galinier 1848 published several hand-coloured plates in their book on Ethiopia, including one of the Baglafecht Weaver.

Scientific citation

Loxia baglafecht Daudin 1802 In Buffon, Hist. Nat., ed. Lace'pe`de, Quad., 14, p.245 Abyssinia, ex idid., Oiseau Rev. Franc. Orn., 6, p.191.

Meaning of names

baglafecht Probably from a native Abyssinian name.

Alternate names

Elgon Weaver, Emin's Weaver, Frick's Weaver, Golden-Crowned Weaver Bird, Lado Baglafecht Weaver, Neumann's Bagafecht Weaver, Reichenow's Weaver, Stuhlmann's Weaver, Uhehe Stuhlmann's Weaver.

Collector

James Bruce.

Date collected

1768-73, when Bruce was in Ethiopia.

Locality collected

Ethiopia, probably in Gondar.

Type specimens

Type specimen not traced.

Weaver Wednesday [139] - Discovery [22]: Crested Malimbe

2015-02-11 (621)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus

Crested Malimbe
Crested Malimbe, male & female,
figure from Daudin 1802
Crested Malimbe
Crested Malimbe, male,
figure from Vieillot 1805
Crested Malimbe map
Crested Malimbe
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Crested Malimbe was formally described by Francois Marie Daudin, a young French zoologist. Daudin described a male and female, and included an illustration with the description. The birds had been collected by Jean Perrein, a French naturalist, who travelled in Africa and on other continents. Daudin included brief notes on the nest and eggs of this malimbe, based on the field notes of Perrein. The birds were noted in fig trees near Malimbe.

Malimbe, now called Malembo, is located in Cabinda, Angola. The Crested Malimbe is the first malimbe species to be described, and the genus comes from the town name Malimbe.

Perrein sent his specimens to Academy of Sciences in Bordeaux, France.

The first colour illustrations were provided by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist, who illustrated a male and female. Vieillot provided a different scientific name, but probably saw the same specimens.

Scientific citation

Tanagra malimbica Daudin 1802 Ann. Mus. Paris, I, p.151, pl. 10, fig. 1 Malimbe [Portuguese Congo]

Meaning of names

malimbica After the town of Malimbe, Portuguese Congo (Cabinda), Angola.

Alternate names

(Congo) Crested Weaver, Gold Coast Crested Weaver, Malimbic Tanager, Upper Guinea Crested Malimbe.

Collector

Jean Perrein.

Date collected

Before 1802.

Locality collected

Malimbe =Malembo, Cabinda, Angola.

Type specimens

Type specimen not traced (it may be in Bordeaux); the illustration of Daudin 1802 serves as a type.

Baglafecht Weaver longevity

2015-02-10 (620)
Baglafecht Weaver
Baglafecht Weaver, Nairobi Museum
Today a Baglafecht Weaver was recaptured at the Nairobi Museum in Kenya. It had been ringed there as an adult on 12/04/2007, ie. 7y 10m 2d ago, thus it would be over 8 years old - see here.

VD van Someren (1958, A bird watcher in Kenya) noted that a pair of Baglafecht Weavers in his garden reached an age of at least 7 years, probably unringed but individual birds that he got to know well. No other long records seem to be published for the Baglafecht Weaver.

More weaver longevity records may be found here.

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