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Weaver Wednesday [75]: Golden-naped Weaver

2013-11-20 (450)

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The Golden-naped Weaver Ploceus aureonucha is a rare but striking bird. The male is black with a deep red-brown crown, orange hindcrown, yellow hind-collar and line down the back, a deep maroon breast, and whitish undertail-coverts. The similar Yellow-mantled Weaver P. ticolor has a yellow hind-collar but the rest of the upperparts are black, the breast and belly are chestnut, and undertail-coverts black. The eye is dark in the Golden-naped Weaver, in contrast to the pale eye in the Yellow-legged Weaver P. flavipes and Vieillot's Black Weaver P. nigerrimus. The female Golden-naped Weaver is black above with a rufous crown, dull yellow hind-collar, and underparts grading from charcoal on the throat to whitish on the undertail-coverts. The juvenile is similar to the female but with the crown washed brown and no hind-collar.

Golden-naped Weaver map The Golden-naped Weaver has a restricted range and was known only from Ituri forest, DRCongo (see map right, based on Birds of Africa). Since 2006 it has also been recorded in extreme western Uganda. A list of sight records is provided here. No subspecies are recognised. Due to the limited number of records, it has been considered as a hybrid, but a recent molecular analysis by Michel Louette indicates that it is a distinct species (see here).

The Golden-naped Weaver inhabits the canopy of dense lowland primary rainforest. It also occurs at forest edges and in tall trees above old secondary growth.

Fruit and insects have been found in the stomachs of specimens. Flocks feed in the forest canopy by gleaning.

The nest and eggs of the Golden-naped Weaver are still undescribed.

The Golden-naped Weaver has no PHOWN records (see PHOWN summary) so be the first to find its nest! Submit any weaver nest records to PHOWN (PHOtos of Weaver Nests) via the Virtual Museum upload site.

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