Southern Masked Weaver

Scientific Name:
Ploceus velatus
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Southern Masked Weaver

The Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus) is a species of weaver bird native to southern Africa.


Southern Masked Weavers are commonly found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, savannas, grasslands, and suburban areas with suitable vegetation. They prefer areas with trees or bushes for nesting, as well as access to water sources such as rivers, streams, and ponds. These weavers are often seen in both natural and human-modified landscapes, including agricultural areas, parks, and gardens.


Southern Masked Weavers are small to medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 11 to 14 centimeters (4.3 to 5.5 inches) in length. They have a relatively stout body, short tail, and conical bill adapted for seed-eating. During the breeding season, males develop distinctive black facial masks, while females and non-breeding males have a duller plumage with streaked or mottled patterns. Best Viewing The best places to view Southern Masked Weavers are in areas with suitable nesting sites and abundant vegetation. Look for them in woodlands, savannas, and suburban gardens with trees or bushes, where they can be seen foraging for insects and seeds or building intricate woven nests. During the breeding season, males may be observed displaying and singing to attract mates and establish territories.