Sunday, 6 January 2013

Baya weaver

Ploceus philippinus

Photo by J.M. Garg (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Baya weaver (en); tecelão-de-Baya (pt); tisserin baya (fr); tejedor de Baya (es); Bayaweber (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Ploceidae

This species is found in southern Asia, from eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan, throughout India and Sri Lanka, and trough Nepal and Bangladesh into southern China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and south to Malaysia and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java.

These birds are 15 cm long and weigh 25-30 g.

The Baya weaver is mostly found in agricultural areas, especially arable land and irrigated fields such as rice paddies. They are also found in dry grasslands, scrublands, pastures and magroves.

They mainly feed on grass seeds, particularly Guinea grass Panicum maximum, but often also rice seeds and other agricultural grains, reason why they are often considered a pest. They also feed on insects, small frogs and molluscs.

Baya weavers breed during the monsoon. They form colonies in trees, with each male building elaborately woven nests made of grass leaves and palm fronds. They nests are placed hanging from tree branches, often over water. Both males and females are monogamous. The female lays 2-4 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 14-17 days. The chicks are mostly fed by the female, but the male may assist, fledging about 7 days after hatching.

IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the Baya weaver is described as locally common to common, although rare in Bhutan. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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