Village weaver

Common Name: Village weaver

Scientific Name: Ploceus cucullatus

Experiments with captive weaver birds have suggested that these birds use colour to help them distinguish between different seed types, and they reject bitter-flavoured seeds.

The empty nests of village weavers are often used by other animals, including snakes, wasps, mice, bats and other birds.

Fast Facts

  • Status

    Least concern

  • Size

    17 cm tall

  • Weight

    Males: 33-37 g, females: 26-40 g

  • Gestation

    12-14 days

  • Young

    2-4 eggs are laid

  • Life span

    Up to 24 years

A village weaver flies from its nest at Marwell Zoo aviary bird experience
Yellow Village Weaver Ploceus Cucullatus Marwell Zoo

In the wild

Village weavers eat a wide variety of foods including seeds, fruits, nectar and insects.

This species is found throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. They live in a variety of habitats including savannah, woodland, wetlands, farmland, villages and gardens.

Village weavers nest in large groups, sometimes with more than 200 nests in one tree and over 1000 nests in one colony. Males weave intricate nests, which are the shape of a ball with a spout-like entrance at the bottom. It takes males about 11 hours to weave a nest. Males may build up to 20 nests in one season, and they will destroy the nests if they haven’t attracted a female. Eggs may be white, pale green or blue, and either plain or with red-brown speckles. Usually only females will incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.

A variety of animals predate upon the eggs and chicks of village weavers, including snakes, monkeys, baboons, crows and birds of prey. African goshawks and bat hawks are known to predate on the adult birds as well as the nests.

These birds are regarded as one of the most abundant and widespread weaver species in Africa and no major threats to the species have been identified.

Meet Marwell's Village weaver

Meet Marwell's Village weaver

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