Weaver species

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Bocage's Weaver Ploceus temporalis

IUCN: Least concern     Discovery: 077

Categories: golden, blue eggs, palm,
News items about species


Bocage's Weaver
Bocage's Weaver male,
figure from Shelley (1905)
Bocage's Weaver
Bocage's Weaver nest,
figure from Hall (1960)
Bocage's Weaver map
Bocage's Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


Bocage's Weaver was formally described by Jose Vicente Barbosa du Bocage, a Portuguese zoologist and politician. He was curator of the Lisbon Museum, and described several other weavers.

Bocage's Weaver was collected by Jose Alberto de Oliveira Anchieta, a Portuguese explorer and naturalist, who collected a large number of birds in Angola.

In 1867 the Portuguese government hired Anchieta as a naturalist but probably also as a secret agent and informer in the Caconda region of Angola. Anchieta lived in Caconda, explored the area and sent many specimens and letters to his scientific correspondents in Lisbon. Anchieta discovered Bocage's Weaver near Caconda, at the south-western edge of the range of this weaver. Anchieta sent a crate of specimens to Lisbon of 126 birds collected between 1879-80, including a single male specimen of Bocage's Weaver.

The Latin name of Bocage's Weaver refers to the olive mask on the face ("temples"). The first English name was simply translated to Temporal Weaver Bird, but later authors gave an English name after the describer of the species.

The first illustration of the Bocage's Weaver was of the type published in Shelley (1905). The second illustration for the species was a photo of a nest, published by Hall (1960).

Scientific citation

Hyphantornis temporalis Bocage 1880 Jorn. Sci. Math. Phys. Nat. Lisboa, 7, p.244 Cacunda, Angola.

Meaning of names

temporalis, Latin: temporalis, of the temples of the head (tempus, the temples).

First English name

Temporal Weaver Bird (Layard 1884).

Alternate names

Angola Golden Weaver, Benguela Weaver-bird, Bocage's Golden Weaver.


Jose de Anchieta.

Date collected


Locality collected

Caconda, Angola.

Type specimens

The type specimen was in the Museum of Lisbon, before a fire destroyed the museum.

The above is based on Weaver Wednesday 2, a weekly series about the discovery of each weaver species.
This species text first appeared as Weaver Wednesday [194] - Discovery [77]: Bocage's Weaver on 2016-03-02

1. Basic biology

Bocage's Weaver
Bocage's Weaver male,
figure from Shelley 1905
Bocage's Weaver
Bocage's Weaver female,
Lubango specimen 36029
Identification. Bocage's Weaver is very similar to the Cape Weaver and has even been considered to be a subspecies of the latter. Bocage's Weaver breeding male has a pale eye and olive-brown face mask, and olive-brown throat patch. The female has an olive-green olive-green face patch, and brown eye; it is darker and greener than other weavers in its range. Non-breeding males resemble females but have white eyes. Bocage's Weaver differs from the Cape Weaver in having a short stout bill. Bocage's Weaver map

Distribution. Bocage's Weaver is found in central and north-east Angola, southern DRCongo and north-west Zambia (see map left based on Birds of Africa). No subspecies are recognised in this little-known species.

Habitat. Bocage's Weaver inhabits bushes and trees near water, usually in dambos, also in rank grassland and tall forbs alongside streams and at the edges of marshes.

Bocage's Weaver
Bocage's Weaver nests

Food. Bocage's Weaver forages in flocks of up to 50 birds. Its diet is insects, including beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars. Spiders have been found in the stomach of a chick.

Breeding. Bocage's Weaver is probably polygynous. It is a colonial species and colonies of more than 30 nests at one site and up to 20 in one tree have been recorded. The nest is ovoid, and the entrance below may have a short entrance tunnel. The nest is loosely woven from grass stems or strips of grass blades and palm leaves. The nest has a ceiling made of leaf blades and grass heads. Grass seedheads are used as lining. The nest is suspended from a branch over water or in elephant grass next to rivers.

Bocage's Weaver
Bocage's Weaver eggs

The clutch is 2 eggs, and they are plain sky-blue, similar to Cape Weaver eggs. There is no information on incubation and nestling periods.

Brood parasitism by the Diederik Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius has been recorded in Zambia.

The above is based on Weaver Wednesday, a weekly series about weaver species.
This species text first appeared as Weaver Wednesday [68]: Bocage's Weaver on 2013-10-02

2. Breeding facts

Pair bond
Probably polygynous
Breeding season
May, Aug and Oct in Angola, Aug-Oct in Zambia
Nest site
suspended from branch over water or in elephant grass alongside river
Nest building
no information
Colony size
Colonial; more than 30 nests at one site and up to 20 in one tree
Clutch size
2 eggs (mean in Zambia)
Egg colour
plain sky-blue
Egg size
average size of 20 eggs 23.7 x 15.6 mm (Zambia)
no information
Chicks and nestling period
no information

Breeding information based on Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 15.

3. Photos of Weaver Nests

Vm 29114

Vm 26201

Vm 14705

Vm 12893

Vm 12090

Vm 8413

Thumb-nails of most recent PHOWN records - click on one to see its full record
See all PHOWN records for this species here.

PHOWN (Photos of Weaver Nests) provides valuable info on breeding distribution and colony sizes of weavers.
You can contribute by registering and submitting photos at Virtual Museum webpage.

4. Breeding distribution

Google map showing distribution (For species with small ranges you need to zoom in at the correct area to see the range):
yellow blob - range of weaver species; read more about this here.
- PHOWN records with photos
- PHOWN records with no photos (Nest Record Cards, other records)
- Birdpix records
- comments on out of range records, or interesting records
- type locality
CLICK on the marker on the map to see individual record details.

5. Range changes

Not South African species

The above is based on Weaver Wednesday 3, a weekly series about range changes in South African weaver species.
This species text first appeared as n/a