• 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.

Southern Masked Weaver - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 19:39, 4 January 2019 by Njlarsen (talk | contribs) (→‎Similar species)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Photo by Max Holdt
Windhoek, Namibia, November 2005
Ploceus velatus


Photo by AHH
Johannesburg, South Africa, October 2007

Length: 13 cm (5 in), mass 29-45 g. Males larger than females
Breeding male: Black face, throat and beak, red eye, bright yellow head and underparts, plain yellowish-green back, short, strong, conical bill and pink brown legs.
Adult female and non-breeding male: Pink-brown bill (not grey contra one field guide), brown or red-brown eye. Upper parts yellow-olive, streaked darker on the upper back, yellow throat fading to off-white on the belly. The non-breeding male resembles the female but retains the red eye.
Juvenile: Similar to the female.

Similar species

Some Village Weavers have a black mask similar to the mask of this species, but they do not have black above the bill.


Western Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
Eastern Africa: Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho and Swaziland.



Photo by mikemik
Tarangire park, Tanzania, April 2018
Photo by rony_roshtov
Etosha, Namibia, October 2005

Six subspecies[1]:

  • P. v. velatus:
  • Western Cape, Northern Cape and Free State
  • P. v. nigrifrons:
  • P. v. tahatali:
  • P. v. shelleyi:
  • P. v. caurinus:
  • P. v. finschi:

Subspecies tahatali, shelleyi, caurinu and finschi are not recognised by all authorities[2].


Shrubland, savanna, grassland, coastal fynbos, open woodland, inland wetlands, semi-desert areas, suburban gardens, and parks.



The diet includes insects, seeds and nectar, and it will come to feeding tables.


They nest singly or in small colonies, mainly from September to January. The males build up to 15 nests in a season and have several female partners. The nests are woven from reed, palm or grass and built in a tree or in reeds. A female selects a nest and lines it with soft grass and feathers. One to six eggs are incubated for 12-14 days by the female.

Parasitised by Dideric Cuckoo.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links