Village Weaver

Male Village Weaver

Gardeners in the Eastern Cape, KZN, Mpumalanga and Limpopo should be very familiar with the Village Weaver, previously known as the Spotted-backed Weaver. These birds are very common and not shy to visit feeding stations in large numbers.

Three different “masked” weavers

There are three species of “masked” weaver in South Africa. When in breeding plumage the male Lesser Masked Weaver has black over the front of its face and a white eye. The Southern Masked Weaver is black up to its forehead and it has a red eye. The Village Weaver also has a red eye but the black ends at the top of its bill.

The Village Weaver is one of the most common weavers and is widely distributed in Africa. They are most common in gardens during the breeding season. In winter they tend to disperse away from their nesting sites.

What do Village Weavers eat?

These birds are regulars at bird feeders and eat a lot of seed. Seed, however, only forms part of a more varied diet. They will eat food and other scraps that you put out, but their natural diet includes insects, nectar and bits of flowers.

Male Village Weavers tend to breed with two females at the same time. He makes a nest for each of them. After inspection the female may actually reject the nest and destroy it. He then has to have another attempt. The nest could be located in a reedbed or on the outer edges of a tree. Once a female has accepted a nest then she lines the inner chamber with soft plant material and lays her eggs. Most often 2 or 3 eggs are laid but nests with 5 eggs have been recorded. The female incubates the eggs for 12 days and then both parents feed the chicks for up to 3 weeks.

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