Garden Birds – Top FIVE most common Garden WEAVERS

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Garden Birds – Top FIVE most common Garden WEAVERS

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Garden birds are birds most commonly seen around cultivation and residential urban gardens and backyards. This series will expound more on birds one is most probable to see around these areas, their characteristics and social behavior and why these species find this habitat favorable. This is not to say they are not found in other areas other than gardens as one will most likely also get to see them in forests and even urban dwellings.

Today we will focus on the most common garden weavers among the up to 40 weaver species found in East Africa.

Weavers are strong footed thick-billed passerine birds. Their elaborately constructed woven nests gave them the name ‘weavers’.

Weaver Facts

  • A large number of weaver species are found in Sub-Saharan Africa with fewer species being in tropical Asia and Australia.
  • They are gregarious and most build their nests in colonies for protection
  • Males of most species are brightly colored  in either yellow, red or black
  • Male birds build the nests as a distinctive courtship behavior.
  • They are seed eaters making them efficient for seed dispersal in our ecosystem.

Top Five Common Weavers

  1. Black Headed (Village) Weaver ( Ploceus cucullatus)

The village weaver has distinctively red or red-brown eyes and a completely black head for the male species. Their nests are coarse and spherical, with short entrance tube added during egg incubation. They nest and feed in large colonies.

Male Black Headed Weaver – Credits Wild Encounters

  1. Baglafecht Weaver (Ploceus baglafecht reichenowi)

Both the male and female species show similar colorations of yellow and black which is unlikely particularly for female weavers. Adult males have a yellow forehead and a black mask enclosing the eyes while females have their entire top and sides of head black.

Their nests are coarse and spherical with an entrance tube. They are mostly solitary but can nest in small groups.

Male Baglafecht Weaver – Photo Credit Darren Ballerby

  1. Speke’s Weaver (Ploceus spekei)

The male Speke’s weaver is bright yellow from nape to forehead and on its rump and underparts. The face, with white eyes, and throat are black.

Their nests are bulky, untidy with many projecting grass stems, and spherical with a short entrance tube. They build their nests in large colonies mostly on acacia trees.

Speke’s Weaver

  1. Holub’s Golden Weaver (Ploceus xanthops)

This is among the largest weavers in comparison with the other weaver species. They are greenish yellow, with pale yellow eyes and a large black bill. Male species have orange wash on their throats and upperbreast which is lacking in females.

Their nests are rounded and loosely woven found near water, reeds or cultivated bamboo. They are solitary weavers.

  1. Spectacled Weaver (Ploceus ocularis)

This weaver is slender billed, pale eyed and has a narrow black mask, hence the name ‘spectacled’. Males have a black throat patch while females are pale yellow below.

The spectacled weaver is a superb weaver as their nests are woven efficiently with fine palm, banana leaves or grass leaf strips making their nests very conspicuous dropping on branch tips or palm fronds. They are solitary weavers.

Spectacled Weaver

For more weaver pictorials (male and female) and information here  and here.

 
This weaver is slender billed, pale eyed and has a narrow black mask, hence the name ‘spectacled’. Males have a black throat patch while females are pale yellow below.

The spectacled weaver is a superb weaver as their

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Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui is a believer in all things beautiful. A believer in spreading information in regards to environmental awareness. A believer in sharing all that is good in Kenya's natural world. A believer in speaking truth with no boundaries. Do you have a story, photo, experience or message you need to share? Send your work to vicki@nyikasilika.org or vickiwangui26@gmail.com.

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