The Southern Masked Weaver or African Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus) is a resident breeding bird species common throughout southern Africa.
This weaver is very widespread and found in a wide range of habitats, including shrub land, savannah, grassland, open woodland, inland wetlands and semi-desert areas. It also occurs in suburban gardens and parks.
The Southern Masked Weaver is 11-14.5 cm long with a short, strong, conical bill and pinkish brown legs. The adult male in breeding plumage has a black face, throat and beak, red eye, bright yellow head and under parts, and a plain yellowish-green back,
The female has a pinkish-brown bill, brown or red-brown eye and is dull greenish-yellow, streaked darker on the upper back. The throat is yellowish, fading to off-white on the belly. The non-breeding male resembles the female but retains the red eye. The juvenile of this species is like the female.
The males build the nests and try to encourage a female to accept it.. The female will come in have a look and if unsatisfied will either begin to break it down or simply fly on to the next.. The males watch and chatter, fluttering their wings in anticipation… will he be lucky, or will he have to rebuild..?