Village Weavers Fast Facts
Village weavers are one of the most common weaver species in Africa. They are a medium-sized weavers found through much of Western, Central and Eastern Africa. Weavers get their name from the intricate basket nest that the males weave in trees. They are a colony species with up to 200 nests in a single tree. Males will use their nest to attract females. Females judge the male on their woven nest, and then line it with feathers, grass and leaves. Abandoned nests are often used by other bird species such as the cut-throat finch or other animals such as snakes and bats.
Village weavers are omnivores, feeding on seeds, fruits, ants, locusts, and grain. During the breeding season, birds prefer to eat the higher energy invertebrates. Their interest in eating seeds and grain, has caused conflicts with humans, as they are known to be crop pests. These birds have been known to use the plant colour to distinguish between different seed types, and determine their freshness. Weavers have been known to identify and reject bitter-flavoured seeds based on their colour.
Males will use their nest to attract the females, it takes around 11 hours to weave a nest, and will build over 20 nests in one season. Females will judge the males on their woven nest, as they desire a nest which is structurally stable to hold their eggs. Groups of more than 200 nests can be built in one tree, and over 1000 nests from the same colony. Incubation of the 2-3 eggs and the feeding of the chicks is carried out by the female. Once the chicks have fledged, males will destroy the nest, to prevent other males from stealing it.
Threats + Conservation
Village Weavers are listed as LEAST CONCERN on the IUCN Redlist. They are believed to be the most abundant species of weaver in Africa and as such have no serious threats in the wild.
1. Abandoned weaver nest are used by ants, bats, snakes and other birds. 2. The first English name to be given to village weavers was 'Weever Oriole', by John Latham a British ornithologist. 3. Village weavers have red eyes.