Friday, 13 February 2015

African golden weaver

Ploceus subaureus

Photo by Guy Poisson (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
African golden weaver (en); tecelão-amarelo (pt); tisserin jaune (fr); tejedor dorado africano (es); goldweber (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Ploceidae

This species is found in East Africa, from south-eastern Kenya, through Tanzania and Mozambique, and into Swaziland and south-eastern South Africa.

This species is about 15 cm long. Males tend to be larger than females, weighing 30-39 g while females weigh 22-31 g.

The African golden weaver is mostly found in river flood plains, coastal plains, estuaries and lowland river valleys, being restricted to reedbeds and adjacent riverine vegetation during the breeding season, but also else wet and flooded grasslands during the rest of the year. they occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.300 m.

They feed on seeds, insects and nectar, particularly grass seeds including rice, termite alates and nectar of Aloe and Erythrina. They are also known to eat flower of wild tobacco Nicotiana glauca.

African golden weavers breed in September-April. They are possibly polygynous and nest in colonies of up to 50 nests, sometimes together with other weavers. The males build multiple nests, spherical structures woven from grass stems, attached to reeds 1-2 m above the water and lined with. When a female selects a nest, she lines it with softer grass and lays 2-4 eggs. She incubates the eggs alone. The chicks fledge 19-22 days after hatching.

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

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