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Weaver Wednesday 4 [282] - Weaver themes [19]: Genus Ploceus - 2. Golden weavers

2017-11-08 (807)

Weaver Wednesday 4: Weaver themes (Series)

Genus Ploceus - 2. 'Golden' weavers

6 weavers are in the tropical 'golden' weaver group, ie they are yellow or golden with varying amounts of orange, and no black or brown masks. The Cape and Bocage's Weavers are similar, and are thus added in the list below.

Links to species texts for the 'golden' weavers:
Golden Palm Weaver Ploceus bojeri
Taveta Golden Weaver Ploceus castaneiceps
Eastern Golden Weaver Ploceus subaureus
Holub's Golden Weaver Ploceus xanthops
Orange Weaver Ploceus aurantius
Principe Golden Weaver Ploceus princeps
Cape Weaver Ploceus capensis
Bocage's Weaver Ploceus temporalis

The greatest overlap of these weaver species is in East Africa, with 3 species showing much overlap: Golden Palm Weaver, Taveta Golden Weaver, and Eastern Golden Weaver. These 3 species usually have small colonies. Golden Palm Weavers nest mostly in trees (especially palms), and Taveta Golden Weavers nest mostly in reeds (sometimes in trees low over water); Eastern Golden Weavers nest in a wide variety of sites, including trees and reeds, and sometimes have large colonies.
Adult male 'golden' weavers:

Golden Palm Weaver

Eye dark, extensive orange on head
Taveta Golden Weaver

Eye brown, orange crescent on head
Eastern Golden Weaver

Eye red, face orange

Adult female 'golden' weavers:

Golden Palm Weaver

Yellow below, back lightly streaked
Taveta Golden Weaver
from phown 3483
Yellow below, back heavily streaked
Eastern Golden Weaver

Eye reddish, belly white

Holub's Golden Weaver is easy to distinguish from these weavers by its heavy bill and pale eye, and has minimal overlap in range with the above 3 species.

The Orange Weaver occurs from West Africa to Lake Victoria, and overlaps with Holub's Golden Weaver, but not with the other weavers shown above.

The Principe Golden Weaver, Cape Weaver and Bocage's Weaver do not overlap with any other golden weaver.

There may be an unrecognised species in Tanzania, known locally as the Ruvu Weaver, to add to the difficulty of identification of the golden weavers in East Africa.

golden weavers map

Google Earth Map left, based on maps from Birds of Africa) for some East African golden weavers:
green - Golden Palm Weaver
red - Taveta Golden Weaver
yellow - Eastern Golden Weaver
blue - Holub's Golden Weaver

Note that Golden and Taveta Palm Weavers do not overlap in range, but both overlap with Eastern Golden Weaver.