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
Taveta Golden Weaver

PHOWN:
Accepted: 20207
(Uploaded: 20207)

Total nests counted: 8016631

Latest weaver links:
61 Cut-throat Finch in Village Weaver nest
60 Paper: Song in the White-browed Sparrow-weaver
59 Discovery of the Taveta Golden Weaver Ploceus castaneiceps

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

Weaver Wednesday [206] - Discovery [89]: Taveta Golden Weaver

2016-05-25 (719)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Taveta Golden Weaver Ploceus castaneiceps

Taveta Golden Weaver
Taveta Golden Weaver (circled),
figure from Sharpe (1890)
Taveta Golden Weaver
Taveta Golden Weaver,
figure from Reichenow (1902)
Taveta Golden Weaver map
Taveta Golden Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Taveta Golden Weaver was formally described by Richard Bowdler Sharpe, an English zoologist and ornithologist who worked as curator of the bird collection at the British Museum of natural history.

The Taveta Golden Weaver was collected by HCV Hunter, an English zoologist and hunter who is better known for discovering and collecting the Critically Endangered antelope, the Hirola or "Hunter's antelope", in 1888 along the Tana River in Kenya.

Hunter collected the Taveta Golden Weaver along the Useri River (Shelley 1905b) near Taveta. Hunter collected a large number of birds in the Mt Kilimanjaro area in June to August 1888. The collection was written up in 1889 by Shelley, who described several new species. However, he listed the weaver as an Eastern Golden Weaver and it was only in 1890 that Sharpe realised that Hunter's weaver was a new species.

The first illustration of the Taveta Golden Weaver was of the head of the type specimen, published by Sharpe (1890) with the heads of similar species. The next illustration was of an adult male in Reichenow (1902), considered to be a new subspecies at the time.

Scientific citation

Hyphantornis castaneiceps Sharpe 1890, Cat. Birds. Brit. Mus., 13, p.448 Taveta, Kenya.

Meaning of names

castaneiceps, Latin: castaneus, chestnut-coloured; -ceps, capped, crowned.

First English name

Rufous-crowned Golden Weaver (Shelley 1905b).

Alternate names

Brown-naped Golden Weaver, Rufous-crowned Golden Weaver, Taveta Weaver.

Collector

HCV Hunter.

Date collected

July 1888.

Locality collected

Useri River, Taveta, Kenya.

Type specimens

The type is in the Bristish Museum (BM 1889.3.21.71).

Weaver Wednesday [205] - Discovery [88]: Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver

2016-05-17 (718)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser rufoscapulatus

Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver
Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver,
figure from Buttikofer (1888)
Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver
Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver,
figure from Chapin (1954)
Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver map
Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver was formally described by Dr Johann Buttikofer, a Swiss zoologist. Buttikofer undertook two zoological expeditions to the Republic of Liberia, so he had some experience of African birds.

The Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver was collected by Pieter Jacob van der Kellen, a Dutch naturalist, collector and explorer in southern Angola, who was working for the Dutch Natural History Museum in Leiden. Van der Kellen took part in the Dutch Ethnographic Museum's South West Africa (=Angolan)expedition (1884-1885), and stayed on in Angola until 1888. His job was to act as a hunter and to search for and collect 'interesting' animals.

Van der Kellen visited the Kasinga River four times, the first two trips being in December 1886 and January 1887. It was only on the third visit (27 February - 11 March 1887) that he collected the Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver.

The first illustration of the Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver was of the male type specimen, published by Buttikofer (1888). The next illustration to be published was some 6 decades later in Chapin (1954).

Scientific citation

Plocepasser rufoscapulatus Buttikofer 1888, Notes Leyden Mus. 10, p.238, pl. 9 Kasinga River, southern Angola.

Meaning of names

rufoscapulatus, Latin: rufus, red; scapulae, the shoulders; -atus, possessing.

First English name

Red-backed Weaver Bird (Stark 1900).

Alternate names

Chestnut-backed Sparrow Weaver, Red-backed Weaver Bird, Red-mantled Sparrow-Weaver, Rufous-backed Sparrow Weaver.

Collector

Pieter Jacob van der Kellen.

Date collected

27 February 1887.

Locality collected

Kasinga River, Angola.

Type specimens

The type is in the Leiden Museum (RMNH_90361).

Weaver Wednesday [204] - Discovery [87]: Golden-backed Weaver

2016-05-11 (717)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Golden-backed Weaver Ploceus jacksoni

Golden-backed Weaver
Golden-backed Weaver male,
figure from Shelley (1888)
Golden-backed Weaver
Golden-backed Weaver male,
figure from Mackworth (1955)
Pasha
Golden-backed Weaver female,
figure from Mackworth (1955)
Golden-backed Weaver map
Golden-backed Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Golden-backed Weaver was formally described by George Ernest Shelley, an English geologist and ornithologist.

The Golden-backed Weaver was collected by Frederick John Jackson, an English administrator, explorer and ornithologist.

Jackson arrived in Kenya in December 1884, where he undertook several hunting and collecting trips. In mid 1886 he decided to go to Kilimanjaro for a few months to hunt and collect specimens. While based near Mount Kilimanjaro a new species was brought to him, which was sent to England where Shelley described it as the Golden-backed Weaver.

Jackson wrote the following about how he obtained the specimen: "Little credit is due to me for having brought this new species to light, as the specimen was brought to me by a little Taveita boy, tied by the legs along with several others of the common yellow species, and was the only one that I kept, as all the rest had had their tails pulled out."

The first illustration of the Golden-backed Weaver was of the male type specimen, published by Shelley (1888). The next illustrations to be published were 6 decades later: colour paintings of the male and female in Mackworth (1955).

Scientific citation

Ploceus jacksoni Shelley 1888, Ibis, 1888, p.293 Kilimanjaro = Taveta, Kenya.

Meaning of names

jacksoni, Named after Sir Frederick Jackson (1860-1929) Governor of Uganda, 1911-1917, naturalist, collector, and author.

First English name

Jackson's Golden-backed Weaver (Shelley 1905).

Alternate names

Golden-back Weaver,
Jackson's Golden-backed Weaver,
Jackson's Weaver,
Jackson's Yellow-backed Black-headed Weaver.

Collector

Frederick John Jackson.

Date collected

1887.

Locality collected

Near Taveta, Kenya.

Type specimens

The type is in the British Museum (BM 1888.6.20.1).

Weaver Wednesday [203] - Discovery [86]: Northern Brown-throated Weaver

2016-05-04 (716)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops

Northern Brown-throated Weaver
Northern Brown-throated Weaver male,
figure from Sharpe (1890)
Northern Brown-throated Weaver
Northern Brown-throated Weaver male,
figure from Mackworth (1955)
Pasha
Northern Brown-throated Weaver female,
figure from Mackworth (1955)
Northern Brown-throated Weaver map
Northern Brown-throated Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Northern Brown-throated Weaver was formally described by George Ernest Shelley, an English geologist and ornithologist.

The Northern Brown-throated Weaver was collected by Emin Pasha, an Ottoman-German physician, naturalist, and governor.

After 1876, Emin made Lado (South Sudan) in Equatoria province his base for collecting expeditions throughout the region, and here he collected type of the Cardinal Quelea. In 1881 there was a revolt by Muhammad Ahmad, and the revolt cut Equatoria off from the outside world by 1883. In 1884 Karam Allah marched south to capture Equatoria and Emin. In 1885, Emin and most of his forces withdrew further south, to Wadelai near Lake Albert, in Uganda.

In August Pasha collected some male and female specimens of the Northern Brown-throated Weaver around Wadelai, and not in Lado as noted by some authors. There was a danger of the specimens being lost due to the revolt, but Rev. Mackay eventually took them to the Kenyan coast, and were sent to the British Museum.

The first illustration of the Northern Brown-throated Weaver was of the head of the male published by Sharpe (1890)The next illustration to be published was of an egg by Ogilvie-Grant (1912), followed much later by colour paintings of the male and female in Mackworth (1955).

Scientific citation

Ploceus castanops Shelley 1888, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p.35 Lado (Wadelai, Uganda).

Meaning of names

castanops, Latin: castaneus, chestnut-coloured; Gr. Ops, the face.

First English name

Nile Brown-throated Weaver (Shelley 1905).

Alternate names

Brown-faced Golden Weaver, Nile Brown-throated Weaver.

Collector

Emin Pasha.

Date collected

12 August 1885.

Locality collected

Wadelai, Uganda.

Type specimens

There are at least 4 syntypes in the British Museum, including BM 1887.9.28.62.

Weaver Wednesday [202] - Discovery [85]: Slender-billed Weaver

2016-04-27 (715)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Slender-billed Weaver Ploceus pelzelni

Slender-billed Weaver
Slender-billed Weaver female & juv
male, figure from Hartlaub (1887)
Slender-billed Weaver
Slender-billed Weaver male,
figure from Sharpe (1890)
Pasha
Emin Pasha, collector of the
Slender-billed Weaver, from wikipedia
Slender-billed Weaver map
Slender-billed Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Slender-billed Weaver was formally described by Karel Johan Gustav Hartlaub, a German physician and ornithologist.

The Slender-billed Weaver was collected by Emin Pasha, an Ottoman-German physician, naturalist, and governor.

After 1876, Emin made Lado his base for collecting expeditions throughout the region, and here he collected his weaver type, the Cardinal Quelea.

In November 1879 Pasha sailed south on a steamer called "Khedive" on the Nile to lake Albert. He devoted his stay at Magungo as far as possible to collecting specimens (including birds, snakes and insects), although he had little ammunition and spirit for preserving specimens. In a letter, Pasha noted that he had found 5 species of weavers in the area, but he only listed the Thick-billed Weaver. Pasha collected 3 specimens of the Slender-billed Weaver in Dec 1879 near Magungo. In 1880 he donated the specimens to Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, who passed them on to the Museum in Vienna. One of the specimens was swopped to go to Bremen where Hartlaub recognised it as a new species in 1887.

The first illustration of the Slender-billed Weaver was published by Hartlaub (1887), with the description of the species. The next illustration to be published was a line drawing by Sharpe (1890).

Scientific citation

Sitagra pelzelni Hartlaub 1887, Zool. Jahrb. 2, p.343, pl. 14, figs. 9-10, Magungo, Uganda.

Meaning of names

pelzelni, After August von Pelzeln (1825-1891) Austrian ornithologist, collector, and author.

First English name

Pelzeln's Slender-billed Weaver (Shelley 1905).

Alternate names

Little Slender-billed Black-faced Weaver, Monk weaver, Muanza Slender-billed Weaver, Palm Slender-billed Weaver, Pelzelni's Weaver, Pelzeln's Slender-billed Weaver, West African Weaver.

Collector

Emin Pasha.

Date collected

Nov-Dec 1879.

Locality collected

Magungo, Uganda.

Type specimens

There are syntypes in Bremen and Vienna Museums.
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