Kenya Birds

Black-headed Weaver


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Black-headed Weaver

Photograph(s) Copyright ©P&H HARRIS

Ploceus cucullatus

Other Pics: Black-headed Weaver (female) , Black-headed Weaver (male in partial breeding plumage)

Other Names

  English Village Weaver, Layard's Black-headed Weaver, Spotted-backed Weaver   French Tisserin gendarme, Tisserin Cap-Moor, Tisserin villageois, Tisserin de Layard   German Dorfweber, Layardweber   Spanish Tejedor de cabeza negra   Swedish Textorvävare, Byvävare   Dutch Grote Textorwever, Dorpswever   Italian Gendarme

World: An African species which is common and widespread South of 15°N except in the drier regions.

Kenya: Common and gregarious it can be found in open bush and wooded areas. Mostly absent from the drier northern and eastern parts of the country.

The Black-headed is represented in Kenya by 2 very distinctive subspecies (some authorities consider these to be incipient species). Pictured here are Ploceus cucullatus bohndorffi (male in breeding plumage, male in partial breeding plumage and female) in which the black of the head extends only as far as the mid-crown where it becomes chestnut and then bright yellow from the hind-crown through to the rump. In Ploceus cucullatus paropterus the head is entirely black and the beak, indeed the whole bird, is smaller.

These are large, noisy, gregarious birds found in large colonies often associated with people. In western regions they can be found in mixed colonies with Vieillot's Black Weaver.

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