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Black-necked Weaver - BirdForum Opus

P. n. nigricollis; male
Photo © by MURAMURA
Kibale Forest, Western Uganda, January 2007
Ploceus nigricollis


15–17 cm (6-6¾ in)
Male (nominate race)

  • Blackish upperparts and wings
  • Yellow underparts
  • Head golden with chestnut wash
  • Black eyemask and bib
  • Pale yellow iris
  • Strong conical bill

Female (nominate race)

  • Blackish crown, upperparts and wings
  • Yellow underparts and eyebrow
  • Black eye-stripe but no bib
P. n. nigricollis; female
Photo © by MURAMURA
Kibale Forest Western Uganda

Both males and females of subspecies brachypterus (from western Cameroon west to the Gambia) have olive-green backs.

Similar Species

Subspecies P. n. brachypterus (see Taxonomy below) should be separated with care from the Spectacled Weaver where both occur (eastern Nigeria and western Cameroon). The Black-necked Weaver shows more olive and less yellow on the head (especially the crown area in females) and a thicker bill.


Sub-Saharan Africa:
Western Africa: Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania
African Islands: Gulf of Guinea Islands, Bioko (Fernando Po)



P. n. brachypterus; male
Photo © by scottishdude
The Gambia, March 2010

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • P. n. brachypterus: (Olive-naped Weaver)
  • P. n. nigricollis:
  • P. n. melanoxanthus:

Race P. n. brachypterus sometimes called "Spectacled Weaver" but that name is now usually restricted to Ploceus ocularis. HBW Alive splits P. n. brachypterus into a separate species called Olive-naped Weaver[3]


Open areas with trees, including forest edges and savanna woodland.


P. n. brachypterus; female
Photo © by scottishdude
The Gambia, March 2010


It builds a large coarsely woven nest made of grass and creepers with a 15cm downward facing entrance tunnel hanging from the globular egg chamber, suspended from a branch in a tree. Two to three eggs are laid.


The diet includes insects and vegetable matter.


Call: wheezing dew-dew-twee.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. (2019). Olive-naped Weaver (Ploceus brachypterus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/1344105 on 20 March 2019).

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