Tag Archives: Cape Weaver

Cape Weaver

Ploceus capensis

The Cape Weaver is common in fynbos, wet highlands, coastal thickets and grasslands with easy access to water and stands of trees. It shows a marked preference for agricultural areas causing some conflict with grain and fruit farmers. It feeds on a wide range of plant material (especially seeds, fruit and nectar) and insects, often in mixed flocks with other weavers, sparrows and canaries. They weigh between 28 and 54 grams.

Cape Weavers are gregarious, nesting colonially in reeds, trees or fences (not necessarily near water) during the spring and summer months, often together with other species of weaver and bishop. Males mate with as many as 7 females in a season and has to weave several nests of grass and reeds to accommodate them – females will often tear apart nests that they find inferior. If accepted, the female will line the nest with soft vegetation and feathers and then, after mating, lies a clutch of 2-5 eggs, which she incubates for two weeks. The chicks fledge at about 17 days of age.

The Cape Weaver is a common to abundant species in South Africa, with a limited distribution outside our borders in Swaziland, Lesotho and the extreme south of Namibia along the lower Orange River, and considered of least concern by the IUCN. They are common along the Atlantic coast and adjacent interior of the Northern Cape, throughout most of the Western and Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal, the eastern Free State, Gauteng and the Highveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province.