Weaver Birds

© Karl Svendsen
Weavers are named for their intricately woven nests. The nests come in various sizes and shapes, with different material used to build the nests. From the giant nests of the sociable weavers, housing up to 500 weavers in a single nest, to the untidy communal nest of the buffalo-weaver, to the elaborately woven nest of the masked weavers, each species has an individual structure to its nest. The most intricate nests are built by the males and he will build many nests before the female will accept the nest and breed.

Cape Weaver

The male Cape weaver is a large weaver, at 17 cm in length, with a long pointed black bill and a pale eye. The breeding male has yellow underparts and head...more

Golden Weaver

The golden weaver is a large weaver, at 17 cm in length, with a heavy black bill, a pale yellow eye, yellow underparts and head, and a chestnut brown face wash....more

Lesser Masked-weaver

The male lesser masked-weaver in breeding colours, has a black mask that extends to the centre of the crown and the bill is black. The upper plumage and wings are yellow and black, with the rest of the body being yellow....more

Long-tailed Widowbird

The male long-tailed widowbird is the largest of the widowbirds at 60 cm, found in South Africa. This bird is very conspicuous in its breeding plumage....more

Red-billed Buffalo-weaver

The red-billed buffalo-weaver is the largest weaver in South Africa, at 23 cm. The male red-billed buffalo-weaver has a red bill and legs with overall black plumage....more

Red-billed Quelea

The red-billed quelea is a sparrow-sized bird around 12 cm in length, with a cone, seed eater shaped, bill. The red-billed quelea is a bird with various colourings....more

Sociable Weaver

With the sociable weaver, the sexes are basically indistinguishable. They have a black chin and face mask, a brown cap and are distinctively scalloped on the back and flanks....more

Southern Masked-weaver

The male southern masked weaver and the village weaver are very similar in appearance out of the breeding season, except that the village weaver is slightly larger....more

Southern Red Bishop

The male southern red bishop has eclipse plumage, meaning it changes colour during the breeding season. Breeding males are brightly coloured, with the upperparts being red to orange...more

Village Weaver

The village weaver is possibly the most widely spread and common species of weaver in South Africa. During the breeding season, the male village weaver has a yellow forehead and crown...more

White-browed Sparrow-weaver

The white-browed sparrow-weaver is a large sparrow-like weaver at around 17 cm in length. It has brown and white plumage, a conspicuous white stripe above the eye and two white wing bars....more