Sunday, 18 May 2014

Red-headed weaver

Anaplectes rubriceps

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
red-headed weaver (en); tecelão-de-cabeça-vermelha (pt); anaplecte écarlate (fr); tejedor cabecirrojo (es); scharlachweber (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Ploceidae

This species is found in sub-Saharan African, being found along the Sahel belt from Senegal to Sudan, and from Ethiopia south to north-eastern South Africa and west to Angola and northern Namibia.

These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh about 20 g.

The red-headed weaver is mostly found in dry savannas and woodlands, but also uses moist tropical forests, scrublands and rural gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

They feed mainly on insects and spiders, but also take seeds and fruits.

Red-headed weavers are monogamous or some times polygynous. They breed in July-February. The male builds the nest alone, consisting of an upside-down bottle-shaped structure made of leaf midribs, twigs, grass stems, broad leaves and tendrils. Once it is approved by the female she lines the interior with bark fibres, feathers, dry grass or leaves. It is typically strung from a few twigs beneath the canopy of a tree, or on man-made objects such as windmill vanes, telephone wires and edge of thatched roof. It is often located near the nests of other weavers or even raptors. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 17 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be uncommon to common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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