Bird Families

Angolan Golden Weaver / Ploceus temporalis

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Ploceidae or weaversare small passerine birds associated with finches.

Biology

They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills, most of which are from Sub-Saharan Africa with fewer species in tropical Asia. Several species have been introduced outside of their native range. The weaver group is divided into buffalo, sparrow, typical, and widow weavers. The males of many species are brightly colored, usually in red or yellow and black, with some species show variation in color only during the breeding season.

Weaver birds, also known as weaver finches, get their name from their elaborately woven nests (the most elaborate of any bird), although some are known for their selective parasitic nesting habits. Nests vary in size, shape, material used, and construction methods from species to species. Materials used to build nests include fine leaf fibers, grass, and twigs. Many species weave very fine nests using thin leaf fiber strands, although some, like buffalo weavers, form large unkempt stick nests in their colonies, which may have spherical woven nests within. Africa's sparrow weavers build apartment building nests in which 100 to 300 pairs have individual jar-shaped chambers injected by pipes at the bottom. Most species of weave jacks that have narrow entrances looking down.

Many species of weaver are gregarious and breed colonially. Birds build their nests together for protection, often several to separate. Usually male birds weave nests and use them as a form of display to seduce prospective females. Weaver bird colonies can be found close to water bodies. They sometimes cause crop damage, especially the red-billed quelea, reputed to be the most abundant bird in the world.

Phylogeny

These species are not closely related to sparrows (Passeridae) nor to Emberizidae, according to Luis Allende and colleagues.

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