Southern Masked Weaver (Afr:
A common yellowish weaver in which the male has a black
facemask. Size 11-14.5 cm About the same size as a Cape Sparrow.
The bill is short, strong and
conical. It is black in breeding males and pale pinkish-brown in
non-breeding birds. The eye of the breeding male is red. The legs
and feet are pinkish brown.
The male Southern Masked Weaver in breeding plumage has a black
facemask, which extends onto the throat and covers just the forehead
and the sides of the face. The underparts and rest of the head are
bright yellow, and the back is plain yellowish-green.
The female has a brown or red-brown eye (may be red in some breeding
birds) and is dull greenish-yellow, streaked darker on the upper
back. The throat is yellowish, fading to dirty white on the belly.
This is a very widespread species, found in nearly all habitats,
from bushveld, woodland, through to semi-desert areas.
It is common in gardens, parks and around farmsteads. It is usually
seen singly or in small groups. It may also form larger flocks, and
is often seen in mixed bird parties, and flocking together with
They eat insects, seeds, parts of flowers; nectar. Will readily
visit feeding trays for bread.
The call is a harsh swizzling. It also utters a sharp chuk
It nests mainly from September to January. Males are polygynous
(have more than one partner) and usually nest alone, building a
succession of nests (about 25 nests each season), although several
males may nest alongside in one colony. Nests are usually situated
in trees, and often around homesteads, or over water. The nests are
typical weaver nests - made of tightly woven strips of reed, palm or
grass. The nests have a neat finish, and once selected by the female
she will add a lining of soft grass and feathers.
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