Southern Masked Weaver

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..?

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44 thoughts on “Southern Masked Weaver

  1. You always have the best of the best photography to share and I always find your focused subjects interesting. These birds and the Biological Intelligence they demonstrate inspires awe. Many thanks!

  2. Okay, if I have to be a bird in my next life I want to be one of these…a female who gets to be picky about her man’s nest building skills…lol
    I loved these photos. Really loved the nests. They are works of art. Thanks for sharing the knowledge and beauty.

    • I was born in the bush, went to school in the outback of Rhodesia, became a Land Surveyor so spent my life in the bush… and with that as a beginning it had to have and end and that is to me life out of a city, where nature is the dominant factor… I have spent so much time alone in nature just watching animals and birds one feels you become part of their tribe and begin to understand their every move…

  3. Truly fascinating…never saw nests like those before. Pretty birds also. Apparently the males must have good decorating skills to be accepted. Love your sign on your header too!

  4. hee hee — I’m laughing thinking of how typical this is for the female having to approve of the male’s whole-hearted efforts to please her:) Amazing…
    These are stunning photos of such beautiful bird bd! Wonderful and interesting too~ Another splendid post my friend!! Your blog is always a pleasure to visit…inviting, warm and educational – and fun too!! 🙂

    • Thanks Robyn… yep to please a woman what men have to go through… oh hold on we’re talking about the bird… I sat for a couple of hours watching these birds and all the good looking nest seem unacceptable to the females… I think they were just throwing their weight around…

    • They are so common and for years I have literally ignored them except for this time had nothing else to do so sat and watched them doing their thing… they were actually quite fascinating…

  5. Nice and bright – when I grew up I had colonies of them in the trees outside my window. Love the noise they make. Thanks for sharing the awesome pics. No cheeky little blighters this time round? Lol

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