Southern Masked Weaver
The Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus) is one of the most prolific (in number) of African weavers and distributed over most of Southern Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Southern Masked Weaver is a small bird of around 15cm (6in) long and average weight of 34g (.075lb) which is similar in size to the Eastern Golden Weaver (Ploceus subaureus) However, what it lacks in size and weight it makes up for in its outstanding tireless ability as an arduous nest builder of repute. In Spring we can find colonies of Southern Masked Weaver males hard at work building their nests of carefully harvested and 'weaved' grass, constructed to perfection in a fairly 'tight dome ball' attached to rushes or trees (usually overhanging water to avoid predators it is thought) with an entrance at the bottom of the dome from which the Southern Masked Weavers can enter.
You may think this would be the end of the building exercise, but no! Many male Southern Masked Weavers re-build their nest several times in one season if the female is not impressed with his nesting skills. If this is the case he will tear it down and start again!!!
The Southern Masked Weaver is distinctive in many ways from other weavers which can easily identify them in the field. The males differs from the smaller Lesser Masked-Weaver due mainly to its 'red' eyes. Southern Masked Weavers are slightly different from the larger Village Weaver, in that they are having a plainish back, not blotchy.
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