Village weaver (Ploceus cucullatus)

village weaver

In the walkthrough aviary at Fur, Feather & Scales

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

What do I eat?

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

Where do I live?

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.

Breeding

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.

Predators

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.

Conservation

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.

Did you know?

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.

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Junior Keeper Experience

Great fun for children and guardians alike. The staff are keen to share their knowledge of the animals that they obviously care very much about and seeing the animals from such close proximity was brilliant.Junior keeper guest, 23rd January 2020