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Sociable Weaver | Philetairus socius

The Sociable 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 Sociable Weaver (Latin name Philetairus socius) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Philetairus socius can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 800 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1007. You will find a picture of the Sociable Weaver on page 1009.

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.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Sociable Weaver is known in Afrikaans as Versamelvo?l.

The Sociable Weaver is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Sociable Weaver has a height of 27 cms and weighs around 14 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured grey. The Philetairus socius has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Philetairus socius 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 brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is grey

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

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

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

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

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

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Sociable Weaver is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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