Red-headed Weaver | Anaplectes melanotis

General Birding Information: Redheaded Weaver

The Red-headed Weaver is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Ploceidae bird family group which includes birds such as Weavers, Queleas, Windowbirds.

The description for the Red-headed Weaver (Latin name Anaplectes melanotis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anaplectes melanotis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 819 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1022. You will find a picture of the Red-headed Weaver on page 1024.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

The Latin name for this bird is Anaplectes rubriceps in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Red-headed Weaver is known in Afrikaans as Rooikopwewer.

The Red-headed Weaver has a height of 15 cms and weighs around 22 gms. The head is coloured scarlet while the bill is coloured red. The Anaplectes melanotis has a white coloured throat, brown legs and a scarlet coloured back. The eyes are red.

The male Anaplectes melanotis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is scarlet.

Eyes are red.

Bill is red.

Legs are brown.

Throat is white.

Back is scarlet.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Red Headed Weaver Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Red-headed Weaver is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Anaplectes melanotis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Anaplectes melanotis forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

Redheaded Weaver Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Red-headed Weaver is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Red-headed Weaver is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.