The southern masked weaver (Ploceus velatus), or African masked weaver, is a resident breeding bird species common throughout southern Africa.
This weaver is very widespread and found in a wide range of habitats, including shrubland, savanna, grassland, open woodland, inland wetlands and semi-desert areas. It also occurs in suburban gardens and parks.
|Southern masked weaver|
|Male, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa|
|Female, Erongo, Namibia|
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 underparts, 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 call is a harsh swizzling, similar to other weavers. It also utters a sharp chuk alarm note.
The southern masked weaver nests in colonies, mainly from September to January. Males have several female partners, and build a succession of nests, typically 25 each season. The nests, like those of other weavers, are woven from reed, palm or grass. A female will line a selected nest with soft grass and feathers. The nest is built in a tree, often over water, but sometimes in suburbia. This weaver also nests in reeds.
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.
The southern masked weaver is usually seen singly or in small groups. It may also form larger flocks, alone or with other seed eating species. It eats insects, seeds and nectar, and will come to feeding tables.
Bannerman's weaver (Ploceus bannermani) is a species of bird in the weaver family, Ploceidae. It is found in Cameroon and Nigeria. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.Its scientific and common names honor the ornithologist David Armitage Bannerman.Black-billed weaver
The black-billed weaver (Ploceus melanogaster) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae found in central Africa.Bob-tailed weaver
The bob-tailed weaver (Brachycope anomala) is a species of bird in the Ploceidae family. It is monotypic within the genus Brachycope.
It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.Chestnut weaver
The chestnut weaver (Ploceus rubiginosus) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae.
It is found in eastern and south-western Africa.Crested malimbe
The crested malimbe (Malimbus malimbicus) is a species of bird in the Ploceidae family.
It is found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda.
Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.Little weaver
The little weaver (Ploceus luteolus) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae.
It is found in western, central and eastern Africa.Marsh widowbird
The marsh widowbird (Euplectes hartlaubi) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae.Maxwell's black weaver
The Maxwell's black weaver (Ploceus albinucha) is a species of bird in the Ploceidae family.Ploceidae
Ploceidae is a family of small passerine birds, many of which are called weavers, weaverbirds, weaver finches and bishops. These names come from the nests of intricately woven vegetation created by birds in this family. In most recent classifications, Ploceidae is a clade, which excludes some birds that have historically been placed in the family, such as some of the sparrows, but which includes the monotypic subfamily Amblyospizinae. The family is believed to have originated in the mid-Miocene. All birds of the Ploceidae are native to the Old World, most in Africa south of the Sahara, though a few live in tropical areas of Asia. A few species have been introduced outside their native range.Ploceus
Ploceus is a genus of birds in the weaver family, Ploceidae. They are native to the Indomalayan and Afrotropical realms.Preuss's weaver
The Preuss's weaver (Ploceus preussi) is a species of bird in the Ploceidae family, which is native to the African tropics.Red-headed malimbe
The red-headed malimbe (Malimbus rubricollis) is a species of bird in the Ploceidae family.
It is found in Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda.Slender-billed weaver
The slender-billed weaver (Ploceus pelzelni) is a species of bird in the weaver family, Ploceidae.
It is found in central and western Africa.Southern brown-throated weaver
The southern brown-throated weaver (Ploceus xanthopterus) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae.
It is found in southern Africa.Speckle-fronted weaver
The speckle-fronted weaver (Sporopipes frontalis) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae.
It is found in Africa from Mauritania and Gambia in the west to Ethiopia and Tanzania in the east.
Its natural habitat is dry savanna.Strange weaver
The strange weaver (Ploceus alienus) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae.
It is found in the Albertine Rift montane forests.Vieillot's black weaver
Vieillot's black weaver (Ploceus nigerrimus) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae. It is named after the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot.Vitelline masked weaver
The vitelline masked weaver (Ploceus vitellinus) is a species of bird in the Ploceidae family.
It is found in western, central and eastern Africa.