The Cape Weaver
Distribution: This species occurs over a range estimated at 670,000 km. It is endemic to
Status: The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as 'common' in at least parts of its range. Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
General habits: It is a resident breeding bird and doesn't migrate, though it is prone to wandering. It is a social bird always seen in flocks that can form large roosts throughout the year; in winter, it may even flock with other weavers and species such as starlings.
Feeding habits: The Cape Weaver forages mostly on the ground where it turns over stones and cow patties; it also searches tree bark for insects. It eats nearly equal part animal and vegetal matter, feeding on a wide variety of grass seeds, as well as grains (including wheat, barley and maize), fruits (figs, grapes, apricots), flowers, nectar, pinus nuts, insects (termites, ants, grasshoppers, flies, caterpillars) and spiders.
Breeding habits: This species breeds in noisy colonies in trees (often willows or Eucalyptus , rarely palms ) and reedbeds
Nest: This weaver builds a large, oblong, kidney shaped nest with a downward facing entrance and no tunnel entrance.The coarsely woven structure made of grass and leaf strips is suspended from the end of atree branch or among reeds and bulrushes. The nest is placed anything between 1 and 10 metres above ground or water, and it often becomes flooded when placed above water.
As it is usually the case with weavers, the male is the one responsible for weaving the nest, and he doesn't hesitate to steal nesting material from his neighbours. which is then thoroughly inspected by the female. She will not solicit copulation until she has decided on a nest which she will then line with fine grass, down and feathers.
The Hadeda Ibis sometimes nests in
Eggs: 2-5 eggs are laid which only the female incubates for 13 or 14 days.
Young: Normally the female does most of the chick feeding, giving them mainly insects. However, some males may share almost equal feeding duties. On average the nestling period lasts 17 days. Juvenile birds are similar in appearance to the female.
The adult female and the non-breeding male have an olive-yellow head and breast, shading to pale yellow on the lower belly. The female's eyes are brown.
Did you know: The Cape Weaver's nests will be robbed by rats, African Harrier Hawks (Polyboroides typus ), boomslangs (Dispholidus typus ) or Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus), and are sometimes parasitized by the Diderick Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx caprius).
The Cape Weaver is also known as: Kaapse wewer [Afrikaans]; Ihobo-hobo (generic term for weaver) [Xhosa]; Letholopje (also applied to Village weaver), Thaha (also applied to Southern masked weaver), Talane [South Sotho]; Kaapse Wever [Dutch]; Kapweber [German]; Tisserin du Cap [French]; Tessitore del Capo [Italian]; Tejedor de El Cabo [Spanish]; Tecelão do Cabo [Portuguese].