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Weaver Wednesday 4 [266] - Weaver themes [3]: Histurgops & Sporopipes

2017-07-19 (791)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday 4: Weaver themes (Series)

Genera Histurgops & Sporopipes

Rufous-tailed Weaver
Rufous-tailed Weaver (figure from wikipedia)
Speckle-fronted Weaver
Speckle-fronted Weaver
Scaly-feathered Finch
Scaly-feathered Finch

The weavers in these 2 genera are brownish birds, found in savanna. The sexes are similar in all 3 species. They are all seed-eaters, and build nests of dry grass.

The Rufous-tailed Weaver is a medium-sized weaver of the East African savanna. It has a pale eye, mottled brown plumage with rufous rump and tail.
Breeding. The Rufous-tailed Weaver is monogamous, but colonial. The nest is a ball of grass, not woven, with an entrance spout, and placed in trees.

The genus Sporopipes has 2 species that are very small, social weavers of semi-arid to arid country. The head plumage has dark feathers with pale margins, and moustachial stripes. The nape colour is distinct - chestnut in the Speckle-fronted Weaver, and brown in the Scaly-feathered Finch.
Breeding. The nest is a bundle of straight grass stems, not woven. The nest is occupied by a single breeding pair, but may be used by groups for roosting in the non-breeding season. Some courtship behaviour (bill-clicking, carrying nesting material) shows parallels to the Estrildidae family (waxbills and finches).

The ranges of the 2 Sporopipes species do not overlap, but the range of the Speckle-fronted Weaver does overlap with that of the Rufous-tailed Weaver (in Tanzania).

Rufous-tailed Weaver Histurgops ruficauda
Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis
Scaly-feathered Finch Sporopipes squamifrons