This little Southern Masked Weaver was quite the entertainer as he busied himself improving his home…. the reason?? To attract a mate… he would look so busy ‘til a female flitted past, then he would fly up and try to get her attention… you could almost hear his pleas… “Come and see the home… please”
I wonder how many men have done the same.??
He seems to be tightening the anchor ropes…..
“What was that.?? a female?” …
“May be up there … oh well back to work…”
I have posted on the Southern Masked Weaver before so won’t bother boring you with all sorts of details about the bird… but suffice it to say, they came to visit my “fruit salad” tree… never noticed before how aggro the bird looks, or maybe he didn’t like the paparazzi sitting there with a camera… see for yourself…
and this is what the female looks like… she chased the male off the orange, cheeky B…….
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 Female checking out a possible home…. with the male already building in the background….
“Calling all ladies, house for rent, costs nothing except sleeping with the owner….”
“This one the ladies will love… looks good and sturdy…”
“Hey who supplied the food?”
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..?