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Genera Brachycope, PachyphantesThe Bob-tailed Weaver and Compact Weaver are both in monotypic genera (only one species in the genus). Males of both species are slightly yellowish with a black mask, while females and non-breeding males are brownish with uniform buff underparts. Both species have short tails. The Bob-tailed Weaver is smaller than the Compact Weaver in wing, tail and bill lengths.
The Bob-tailed Weaver has a restricted range along the Congo and other rivers in central Africa. The Compact Weaver has a more widespread, but patchy, distribution in West, central and east Africa. There is minimal overlap in range for the 2 species. The Bob-tailed Weaver is found in grassy clearings near large rivers in rain-forest. The Compact Weaver occurs in grassland or grassy savanna while breeding, and more wooded areas the rest of the year. Both species feed mainly on seeds but also insects and other items.
Both species appear to be monogamous breeders. The nest is a sphere with a side entrance. The eggs of the Bob-tailed Weaver are uniform dark grey, different to the colour of most weaver eggs, and not a common colour for bird eggs. The eggs of the Compact Weaver are palin or marked.
Although these 2 species are superficially similar, the Bob-tailed Weaver is usually considered to be closely related to the quelea and/or bishop species, while the Compact Weaver is generally considered to be closer to the Thick-billed Weaver. No genetic work has been done on these 2 species yet.
Measures of Bob-tailed Weaver and Compact Weaver in mm to show size differences: