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Village Weaver - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by xentox
Liberia, Summer 2005
Ploceus cucullatus


Breeding male
Photo © by Scottishdude
Gambia March, 2010

15-17cm (6-6¾ in)
Strong conical bill
Breeding male

  • Black head and bill
  • Chestnut nape
  • Upperparts and wings are yellow and black
  • Yellow underparts

Non-breeding male

  • Yellow head
  • Olive crown
  • Grey upperparts
  • Whitish underparts
  • Yellow and black wings
  • Red eyes

Adult female

  • Dark eyes
  • Streaked olive upperparts
  • Yellow and black wings
  • Pale yellow underparts

Young birds browner back, otherwise similar to the female


Photo © by whiteheadedvulture
Accra, Ghana, October 2016

Most subspecies have mostly dark head but differ in color of nape and back of male. The southernmost subspecies spilonotus differ in having a black mask that only reaches the side of the bill and is yellow above that.


Sub-Saharan Africa
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, eSwatini
African Islands: Gulf of Guinea Islands, Bioko (Fernando Po), Sao Tome, Principe, Mauritius Island and Reunion Island.

Escaped populations can be found in many countries world-wide and has been introduced to Haiti.


Male developing breeding plumage; subspecies abyssinicus
Photo © by volker sthamer
Hawassa, Ethiopia, February 2017


Photo © by whiteheadedvulture
Accra, Ghana, 1 May 2020

Ploceus cucullatus has eight subspecies:[1]

  • P. c. cucullatus
  • P. c. collaris
  • P. c. bohndorffi
  • P. c. frobenii
  • P. c. graueri
  • P. c. abyssinicus
  • P. c. nigriceps
  • P. c. spilonotus


They occupy a variety of open habitats, from open woodlands to towns and villages.


Nesting colony
Photo © by Doc Duck
Blyde river canyon, South Africa, February 2017

They often form large noisy colonies.


The large nest is coarsely woven from grass and leaf strips, suspended from a branch. It has a downward facing entrance. The clutch consists of 2-3 eggs.

A colonial breeder, many nests may be found in a single tree.


Their diet consists mostly of seeds and grain, and can be a crop pest; also insects, particularly when feeding young.


Call: includes harsh buzzes and chattering


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Avian Web

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1