Weaver species

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Bannerman's Weaver Ploceus bannermani

IUCN: Vulnerable     Discovery: 111

Categories: IUCN,
News items about species


Bannerman's Weaver
Bannerman's Weaver,
figure from Bannerman 1949a
Bannerman's Weaver
Bannerman's Weaver,
figure from Mackworth 1973a
Bannerman's Weaver map
Bannerman's Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


Bannerman's Weaver was formally described by James Paul Chapin, an American ornithologist.

Bannerman's Weaver was collected in Cameroon by RH Drinkwater, who collected many birds in West Africa. Mr. Drinkwater obtained two adult specimens of this new weaver: one in the Nkongsamba district on 3 May 1930, and one in the Djang district on 7 May 1930.

Chapin also found an older specimen that he recognised as the same species, and thus included in the type description. This specimen had been collected by Captain Boyd Alexander on 12 June 1909, at Ninong, Manenguba Mts., Cameroon. At the same site Alexander also collected two hybrid weavers and it was assumed that his Bannerman's Weaver was a hybrdi rather than a new species.

Chapin named this new weaver in honor of David Armitage Bannerman, a Scottish ornithologist, collector, and author. Bannerman had already published many papers on West African birds, and later wrote a handbook of 8 volumes on the birds of West Africa.

The two Drinkwater specimens are in the American Museum of Natural History, while the Alexander specimen may be in the British Museum.

Bannerman's Weaver was first illustrated by Bannerman 1949a, being a line drawing of an adult. The next illustration of the species was a colour painting published in Mackworth 1973a.

Scientific citation

Ploceus bannermani Chapin 1932a, Amer. Mus. Novit. no. 570 p.17, Djang district, Cameroon.

Meaning of names

bannermani, Named after David Armitage Bannerman (1886-1979) Scottish ornithologist, collector, and author.

First English name

Bannerman's Weaver (Bannerman 1949a).

Alternate names



RH Drinkwater; also Boyd Alexander.

Date collected

May 1930; also June 1909.

Locality collected

Djang district, Cameroon (holotype).

Type specimens

The types are in the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH 295349), and possibly in the British 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 [228] - Discovery [111]: Bannerman's Weaver on 2016-10-26

1. Basic biology

Bannerman's Weaver
Bannerman's Weaver at nest,
figure from PHOWN

Identification. Both sexes of Bannerman's Weaver Ploceus bannermani are golden yellow below and on the crown, with green upperparts; a pale eye contrasts with the small black face mask. There are no similar species in its montane forest habitat within its restricted range.

Distribution. Bannerman's Weaver occurs in West Africa, in far eastern Nigeria and western Cameroon (see map below, based on Birds of Africa). No subspecies are recognised. It is listed as Vulnerable, but it occurs in several protected areas, and there is a major conservation programme at Kilum on Mt Oku in Cameroon.

Bannerman's Weaver map

Habitat. Bannerman's Weaver inhabits forest edge and dense shrubby habitat in more open sectors, including clearings, of montane forest; along strips of forest in deep ravines of Obudu Plateau, and in secondary scrub. It is absent from the wetter mountains but may be tolerant of degraded forest.

Food. The diet of Bannerman's Weaver is unknown, but presumably includes insects and fruit. It usually forages in pairs, and sometimes in small parties.

Bannerman's Weaver
Bannerman's Weaver nest,
figure from PHOWN

Breeding. Bannerman's Weaver is a solitary nester, and apparently monogamous. The nest is retort-shaped with an entrance pointing downwards and no tunnel. The outer wall is compactly woven with grass stems and thin grass leaf blades. It is sparsely lined with grass husks and soft plant down. The nest is attached to the thin branches of thorn bushes, 2-3 m above the ground.

A clutch is 2 eggs and they are pale blue with evenly distributed fine brown speckles. A recent study showed that the peak breeding season was between August and October; nests were sited in reeds, vines and shrubs; and a major cause of breeding failure was egg predation by children.

The above is based on Weaver Wednesday, a weekly series about weaver species.
This species text first appeared as Weaver Wednesday [81]: Bannerman's Weaver on 2014-01-01

2. Breeding facts

Pair bond
Apparently monogamous
Breeding season
in Nov in Nigeria and Dec-Feb in Cameroon
Nest site
2-3 m above ground and attached to outer branch of thorny bush
Nest building
no information
Colony size
Solitary nester
Clutch size
2 eggs
Egg colour
pale blue with evenly distributed fine brown speckles
Egg size
23.9 x 15.4 mm
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 28364

Vm 13804

Vm 5068

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