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Yellow-backed Weaver Ploceus melanocephalus(species text)
PHOWN priorities: none yet
No of records in PHOWN for this species: 3
Colony sizeColony size for this species in PHOWN (min - mean - max, sample size) and published data:
|PHOWN||Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 15|
|1 - 3.3 - 8 (n=3)||No information|
Nest siteType of nest site for this species in PHOWN:
|reed - 2|
tree - 1
PHOWN Records per month for this species
|Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 15||May-Oct in Mauritania, Apr-Nov in Senegal, Jun-Sept in Gambia, Jul-Oct in Mali, Aug-Oct in Bukina Fasso (Jul-Aug at Ouagadougou), Jun-Nov in Niger, Aug in Togo, May and Jul-Oct in Nigeria; in DRCongo, Jun-Aug in NE, Nov-Apr in Kimbombo, Jan-May in Itombwe and E region, Aug-Sept in C regions; Aug-Sept in Sudan and Ethiopia, Mar-May and Aug-Sept in Uganda and Feb-Mar in Zambia|
Figure above right: breeding seasonality shown as records per month (if available), where months are numbered from January where January=1 etc.
The records are grouped into 6 regions: Safr=southern Africa, Cafr=central Africa, Wafr=western Africa, Eafr=eastern Africa, Asia=southern Asia, IO=Indian Ocean islands
Read more about these figures here.
Google map of records for this species (you may need to zoom out to see all records)
Yellow areas show distribution of the species; for species with small ranges you need to zoom in at the correct area to see the range. Read more about these maps here.
Published breeding informationBreeding information based on Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 15.
Polygynous, with two or three females in territory simultaneously; sometimes monogamous
May-Oct in Mauritania, Apr-Nov in Senegal, Jun-Sept in Gambia, Jul-Oct in Mali, Aug-Oct in Bukina Fasso (Jul-Aug at Ouagadougou), Jun-Nov in Niger, Aug in Togo, May and Jul-Oct in Nigeria; in DRCongo, Jun-Aug in NE, Nov-Apr in Kimbombo, Jan-May in Itombwe and E region, Aug-Sept in C regions; Aug-Sept in Sudan and Ethiopia, Mar-May and Aug-Sept in Uganda and Feb-Mar in Zambia
slung between vertical stems (supported at one side only) in elephant grass, reeds or papyrus over water, sometimes suspended from pendulous twigs in bush or small tree, even in maize (Zea mays) field, generally more than 2 m above ground or water level
woven by male, lined by female
dull white, blue-green, pinkish-grey or brown, either plain or heavily freckled with olive-brown
average size of ten eggs 18.9 x 13.8 mm (Nigeria)
incubation by female only
both sexes feed nestlings and fledglings
IntroductionLinnaeus based this species description on the publication of Eleazar Albin. Albin based his illustration and text of this species on birds in the aviary of Grace the Duke of Chandos, James Brydges.
Albin, an English naturalist and water-colour illustrator, included a short text and copper plate engraving illustrations in his book "A natural history of birds", and Vol 3 contained the Yellow-backed Weaver. Albin called the bird Gamboa Groasbeak.
Linnaeus listed the type locality as Gvinea, based on Albin's locality of Gamboa on the coast of Guinea. A distinct subspecies of the Yellow-backed Weaver occurs in coastal Guinea, so Albin's locality probably refers to Gambia, as surmised by Brisson 1760.
Scientific citationLoxia melanocephala Linnaeus 1758 Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p.175 Guinea
Meaning of namesmelanocephala (Greek) Melas, black; -kephalos, headed
Alternate namesBlack-headed Weaver, Yellow-collared Weaver
CollectorUnknown, sent to the Duke of Chandos in England.
Date collectedBefore 1735, when Albin painted the bird (date on painting: 9 Sept 1735).
Locality collectedProbably Gambia.
Type specimensNo type specimens known to survive, but the painting of Albin serves as a type.
Thumb-nails of most recent PHOWN records
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List of all PHOWN records for this species
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1221, South Africa, Zandvlei NR, Marks vlei, Oschadleus HD
1241, South Africa, Sandvlei NR Marks vlei, Oschadleus HD
12429, Tanzania, A lodge in Soroti, Oliver, Paul
All PHOWN news items relating to this speciesThe headers below refer to Weaver News items featuring PHOWN and this species. Click on a header to see the News item, which includes the full news item. (The number in brackets is the date that the news item appeared on Weaver Watch).
Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Yellow-backed Weaver (2014-10-01)
Weaver Wednesday : Yellow-backed Weaver (2014-07-02)
Black-headed (Yellow-backed) Weaver in Cape Town (2011-09-12)