Wild Birds

Black-necked Weavers

Black-necked Weavers (Ploceus nigricollis)

The Black-necked Weavers (Ploceus nigricollis) occurs naturally in much of tropical Africa from Senegal and northern Angola east to southern Sudan and Tanzania, where it remains year-round. It inhabits forests, especially in wet habitats.

Black-necked Weavers Resting on the Tree Branch
Black-necked Weavers Resting on the Tree Branch

Nesting / Breeding

It builds a large coarsely woven nest made of grass and creepers with a 15cm downward-facing entrance tunnel hanging from the globular egg chamber.

The nest is suspended from a branch in a tree and 2-3 eggs are laid. It nests in pairs but forms small flocks when not breeding.


The Black-necked Weavers is a stocky 16cm bird with a strong conical bill.

The adult male of the northern race has olive upperparts and wings, and yellow underparts and head. It has a black eyemask and bib, and a pale yellow iris. The non-breeding male has a yellow head with an olive crown, grey upperparts, and whitish. The wings remain yellow and black.

Black-necked Weaver Standing on the Solid Rock
Black-necked Weaver Standing on the Solid Rock

The adult female also has olive upper parts and wings, yellow underparts, and a head. It has a black eyemask but no bib.

The southern race from Nigeria eastwards has almost black upperparts and tails.

Diet / Feeding

The Black-necked Weaver feeds on insects and vegetable matter.

Calls / Vocalization

Its calls are described as a wheezing dew-dew-twee.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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