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Southern Masked Weaver

Afrikaans name: Swartkeelgeelvink

Southern Masked-Weaver male

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ploceus velatus

The Southern Masked-Weaver is a common and well-known bird in South Africa. It is found in suitable habitat over most of South Africa except for the coastal region from Port Elizabeth to the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. Beyond South Africa they occur over large parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

The male Southern Masked-Weavers have a bright yellow and black plumage during the breeding season. Females and non-breeding males have a far drabber plumage.

They breed during an extended period from late winter through to Autumn although the peak breeding season is in summer. They tend to nest in colonies with a suitable tree being used year after year. Males are polygamous and will make a number of nests during the breeding season. Normally either 2 or 3 eggs are laid and the female does most of the work raising the chicks.

Southern Masked-Weavers are very common garden birds in some areas and will often be seen on bird feeders.

Seeds and insects form the main part of their diet. They also eat nectar.

Read more about Weavers

Southern Masked-Weaver male

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 24

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 110

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 216

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 79

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 208

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 188

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 108

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 413

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 724

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 722

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 420

List of South African Birds

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