• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Which weaver from Ethiopia (1 Viewer)

dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
Maybe a Golden Palm Weaver .
Not in the Rift Valley lakes! Village and Spectacled were common around Ziway when I was there, but this could be vitelline masked weaver in non-breeding plumage. I'd await confirmation from somebody with more extensive experience though.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
Ruppell's Weavers were common in Ziway when we were there, and I think that's what this is (female).
It is not always easy to tell the weavers in this part of Ethiopia and I am not sure that we can be 100% sure from this single photo.

Ziway has reports of a wide range of species, including Baglafecht, Spectacled and Lesser masked weaver - all of which can immediately be discounted as they have pale eyes and this bird has red/brown eyes.

Therefore of the more likely species there are Village, Southern (or Vitelline) Masked, Little Weaver, and Ruppell's Weaver. They are very similar and I must admit that I cant decide if this is an eclipse male or a female.

Getting a feeling of size with a single photo is difficult. This appears to lack the 'heft' of a Village, but is also too big for Little weaver.

I therefore agree that it is likely to be either a Vitelline of Ruppell's weaver. Ruppell's should have a darker eye and a paler bill than Vitelline, it is also more of a Savannah species that Vitelline. To me, I would sway towards Vitelline, but I have seen both at Lake Ziway and it needs more photos and better notes to say if it was in the reedy lake edge or the thorn-belt that runs down to the shore.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
I therefore agree that it is likely to be either a Vitelline of Ruppell's weaver. Ruppell's should have a darker eye and a paler bill than Vitelline, it is also more of a Savannah species that Vitelline. To me, I would sway towards Vitelline, but I have seen both at Lake Ziway and it needs more photos and better notes to say if it was in the reedy lake edge or the thorn-belt that runs down to the shore.
I've looked at the photos that I (with help from BF friends) identified as Ruppell's in Ethiopia (in 2012). Unfortunately the only photos I have of Vitelline are from Tanzania, and only breeding male (so not sure from personal experience what the female looks like). I also looked at photos online of both species - unfortunately online you can never be sure that the ID of females or juveniles are correct when dealing with difficult species which overlap in distribution.

I still think that this is a Ruppell's Weaver, possibly a juvenile male not a female. The iris is darkish, rather than strongly red (female Vitelline should be clearly red, I think). But the pattern around the eye is one feature that stands out for me. Male Ruppell's has a black eyering (see attached photo, and also the books, though it's not shown strongly in the books). Hans-b's photo shows a yellow eyering of the same shape and location, which I suspect
is either a female or juvenile male feature in Ruppell's along with the narrow line back from the centre of the rear of the eye (see the two attached head photos - first my male, then the Hans' bird). This can also be seen in some, but not all, online photos. I don't think this is the case with Vitelline.

But that's as far as I can go.

120104203 ET Awassa.jpg

120104203 ET Awassa A.jpg




Ethiopia BF Weaver 02.jpg
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top