Weaver birds range from about 4 ½ to about 10 inches long. Males are often yellow and black, while females tend to be brown and buff-colored. Some males have patches of red or orange. A males' plumage may change color during breeding season.
They are omnivorous, and mostly eat insects and seeds.
Male weaver birds construct their elaborate nests during mating season, using them to attract prospective mates.Sometimes, after the male has completed the basic structure of the nest and a female has approved it, the female will help him to complete the nest.
Weaver birds use a variety of plant materials to build their nests, including strips of grass, leaves, twigs and roots.
A weaver bird has a strong, conical beak, which it uses to cut blades of grass that it will use in nest-building. The weaver bird can tie real knots in nest material with its beak and its feet. By tying knots, the bird makes the nest more secure.
The nest of a weaver bird often has a narrow tube-like entrance that opens upside down. It is hard for a predator to get inside the nest.
The weaver bird will often build its nest on a tree branch that hangs over the edges of a river. This also helps to protect the nest from predators.
The males of many species of weaver bird are polygamous and may build more than one nests during one breeding season.
Main features: Small (15cm).
Male: Breeding: crown yellow; dark brown mask; underparts unstreaked; upper parts dark brown streaked buff; bill blackish brown.
Non-breeding male: no yellow crown (then dark brown streaked buff); no mask; eyebrows long buffy; bill horn-coloured.
calling out on his
newly built nest
Female: Similar to non-breeding male.
Call: Loud harsh chip; at nest a curious wheezy rattling song chit-chit-chit-chee-ee-ee-ee.
World distribution: Pakistan to Southwest China, down Southeast Asia to Sumatra and Java. Despite their species name, they are not found in the Philippines or Borneo.