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Lesser Masked Weaver - BirdForum Opus

Photo by mikemik
Tarangire, Tanzania, April 2018
Ploceus intermedius


Length 13-14 cm (5-5½ in)
Adult male: A pale-eyed masked weaver; the black mask extends onto the front half of the crown, and has a notch above the eye. Male has a black bill.
Adult female has a pale pinkish-grey bill.
All adults have the greyish legs, but very young juveniles can have pink legs. Juveniles in addition have dark eyes

Photo by John Dempsey.
Mkuze, South Africa, August 2003


Africa: North-eastern South Africa to Congo, DRC and Ethiopia, with an isolated popualtion in Central African Republic.



There are three subspecies:1

  • P. i. intermedius
  • P. i. beattyi
  • P. i. cabanisii
'Male on nest
Photo by IvoZafirov
Uganda, November 2005


Open woodland close to water.


Forages in tree canopy for insects and nectar. Also eats flowers, fruit and small seeds.


Colonial breeder. It makes a round nest from grass, with an entrance at the bottom. Two to four eggs are incubated for 13 days by the female. Parasitised by Dideric Cuckoo and (rarely) Klaas's Cuckoo.


  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. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  3. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154
  4. Birdforum thread discussing ID of this species versus Vitelline Weaver
  5. Sinclair et al. 2002. Birds of Southern Africa. Princeton Field Guides, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-09682-1

Recommended Citation

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