Monday, June 16, 2014

Speke's Weaver

We encountered a number of different kinds of weavers in Africa and one of the prettiest was Speke's weaver, named after John Speke, who searched for the source of the Nile in the mid-1800s and discovered and named Lake Victoria. 
Speke's weaver near the hippo pool in Ngorongoro Crater. 
The male is yellow with a black throat (edged with rust), face and bill and black mottling on the back. 
Eating food off the outdoor patio at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge in Nakuru NP.
The female is much less flashy: she has olive-gray with brown streaks with an underside that is pale yellow. They nest in colonies. The nest is spherical with a short entrance tube opening sideways or downward. Many grass stems often make it look sloppy and obscure the shape. 
A male near the opening of a nest in Ngorongoro Crater. This is a good example of the sloppy appearance due to grass not woven in very tightly.
It is only found in East Africa: north and eastern Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya in the central highlands and northeastern Tanzania. We encountered them twice: first at our Sarova Lion Hill Lodge in Nakuru National Park in Kenya, then a colony nesting in a large tree next to the hippo pool in Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. 
A number of males near each other in a tree.
Resting on a branch.

1 comment:

  1. That nest looks like it would blow away in a gentle breeze.