Southern Masked Weaver.

Southern Masked Weaver or African Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus)

Now here we go again… two names, I have trouble remembering the one.

This bird is 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, in other words it’s found everywhere.

The Southern Masked Weaver nests in colonies. Males have several female partners, haven’t heard of monogamous relationships, and build a succession of nests. The nests, like those of other weavers, are woven from reed, palm or grass. The female will line a nest she likes with soft grass and feathers. The nest is mostly built in a tree over water.

The Southern Masked Weaver lays eggs of a various colour and this helps it to evade parasitisation by cuckoos because the cuckoo has no way of knowing what kind of eggs are inside the weaver’s nest until it has entered the nest to attempt to lay one itself. Eggs of the wrong colouration are ejected by the nest owners. Clever hey???

Now after yesterdays post of the White-browed Sparrow-Weaver and it’s not so neat nest, this bird is fanatical, and the female very picky about her selection… here’s some photos…

The Male..

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The Female checking out a possible home…. with the male already building in the background….

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“Calling all ladies, house for rent, costs nothing except sleeping with the owner….”

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“This one the ladies will love… looks good and sturdy…”

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“Hey who supplied the food?”

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49 thoughts on “Southern Masked Weaver.

  1. I love the birds but am mesmerized by the succession of nests. I find it so interesting that they are woven of reed, palm or grass and that the female lines the nest with soft grass and feathers.

  2. This was an exquisite peek into some fascinating birds! I love your captions as well as your gorgeous story. When I see your photos I think of National Geographic and Planet Earth (the documentary series) combined….birds and their curiously fascinating habits are just so compelling to me. The each have the strangest and funniest habits when “courting” a mate. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into these beautiful birds.

  3. This nest reminds me of ones that little yellow birds (that we call Sunbirds) use to build on my veranda in the old house. One day several years ago I noticed that someone had thrown a rope over the beam and into one of the nests (I didn’t have my glasses on) and when I went to pull it away I realised it wasn’t a rope, it was a snake. YIKES! It ate the eggs so the mum and dad birds had to build elsewhere the following year. I love the weaved nests, such clever little birds they are 😉

    • Thanks Dianne… I’ve seen these nests being rob by snakes so often with all the birds sitting around screaming their heads off.. instead of getting in and tackling the snake when it’s head is in the nest…

  4. Lovely pictures. Those birds are among the products of our garden – I wish they would choose less flimsy branches for their nests. They often come raining down in a gale.

  5. Now that’s some serious building going on. I’ve never seen a nest like that before….fascinating. BTW….thanks so much for your kind comments on my blog…..makes me smile 🙂

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