Village Weaver

Ploceus cucullatus

Village Weavers are often encountered in large, noisy flocks, inhabiting open savanna and woodland habitats, usually near water, as well as gardens, parks and agricultural fields. They’re omnivores, feeding on seeds, invertebrates, fruit and nectar and often found scavenging for scraps at picnic sites or around houses. They’re also often encountered in mixed flocks with other kinds of weavers and other small seed-eating bird species.

They breed colonially, males weaving their nests in trees, reeds or palms, often hanging over water, and trying to court as many females as possible – males can construct as many as 20 nests in a season! Females will also mate with several different males during the breeding season. There may be as many as 1,000 nests at the breeding colony. Their breeding season stretches from late winter through to autumn. The male plays no role in incubating the clutch of 2-5 eggs or raising the chicks. The eggs hatch about two weeks after being laid, and the chicks leave the nest when they’re about 3 weeks old. Adults measure around 16cm in length and weigh about 37g.

With a wide distribution over sub-Saharan Africa, and with probably the largest population of their genus, the Village Weaver is considered as being of least concern by the IUCN. In South Africa they occur from the Eastern Cape, through Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo to Gauteng and the North West Province.

31 thoughts on “Village Weaver

      1. naturebackin

        It is. Another absence that is notable is the absence of thrushes – both Kurrichane and Olive. We are hopeful that as autumn advances they will become more evident. Sadly, over the past few years there has been a noticeable decline in bird numbers and bird diversity in our garden. We wonder if rising temperatures and noticeably few insects (especially noticeable at night) is also linked.
        However, the pandemic crisis is superseding such concerns at this difficult time. Take care.

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Knowing how keenly you take notice of the natural world around you I am very concerned about the implications of your observations, Carol.
          All the best to you all during the coming weeks as well.

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  1. naturebackin

    Such enjoyable birds to have around and fascinating to watch the nest building and courting behaviour. I love your photo of the nests over the water – evokes memories of similar sightings out in wild places.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      That’s a very interesting observation, Anne, as I also can’t recall ever seeing Village and Southern Masked Weavers together – it is likely that they compete for the same resources.

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  2. healingfootprints

    We have one male in our garden outside our kitchen door who has built up to near 100 nests now I’m sure – only to have to pull them down again! We have named him lonely Lawrence as his skills with the ladies are obviously not up to par. I actually feel quite desperate for the poor little guy. By now he can surely build nests in his sleep and even though he puts on quite a show chirping and singing his lungs out, not one female weaver in sight! In fact not any other weavers in sight! Is it normal to see a solitary male?

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