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Dark-backed Weaver | Ploceus bicolor

The Dark-backed 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 Dark-backed Weaver (Latin name Ploceus bicolor) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Ploceus bicolor can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 808 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1020. You will find a picture of the Dark-backed 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.

This bird is known as Forest Weaver in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Dark-backed Weaver is known in Afrikaans as Bosmusikant.

The Dark-backed Weaver has a height of 14 cms and weighs around 16 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured grey. The Ploceus bicolor has a white coloured throat, brown legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Ploceus bicolor 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 brown

Throat is white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Dark-backed Weaver is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Ploceus bicolor 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 Ploceus bicolor 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.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Dark-backed Weaver is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured green.

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

The Dark-backed 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 ...

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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