The Lesser Masked Weaver inhabits thorny savannas, usually near water, feeding on insects, seeds and nectar. They’ve also become more common in suburban parks and gardens of late. In South Africa they are found from northern Kwazulu-Natal, through Mpumalanga and Limpopo to Gauteng and marginally into North West Province, and, as far as the rest of the continent is concerned, patchily from our northern neighbouring states through to Ethiopia. While it is less numerous and widespread than the other two similarly-looking weavers in South Africa, being the Village and Southern Masked Weavers, the IUCN lists the Lesser Masked Weaver as being of least concern.
Lesser Masked Weavers nest in small colonies of up to 200 meticulously woven nests, usually fewer, built in trees and reedbeds, usually over water, during spring and summer. Sometimes they formed mixed colonies with Village Weavers. Males are polygamous, weaving nests for and mating with as many females as possible. Females are solely responsible for the incubation of the eggs (clutches number from 2-4 eggs) over a 2 week period, as well as rearing of the chicks, which fledge about two weeks after hatching. Adults Lesser Masked Weavers measure about 14cm in length and weigh around 21g.