Black-necked weaver

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Black-necked weaver
Ploceus nigricollis.jpeg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ploceidae
Genus: Ploceus
P. nigricollis
Binomial name
Ploceus nigricollis
(Vieillot, 1805)

The black-necked weaver (Ploceus nigricollis) is a resident breeding bird species in much of tropical Africa from Senegal and northern Angola to South Sudan and Tanzania.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The species was first described by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot in 1805, who named it Malimbus nigricollis. The description was based on a specimen that had been collected by Jean Perrein near Malimbe, French for the town Malembo, in the Cabinda Province of Angola. The species epithet nigricollis is a contraction of two Latin words, niger meaning "black", and collis, meaning "necked".[2]


There are four subspecies recognized:[3]

  • P. n. brachypterus - Swainson, 1837: Found from Senegal and Gambia to western Cameroon
  • P. n. nigricollis - (Vieillot, 1805): Found from eastern Cameroon to southern Sudan, western Kenya, north-western Tanzania, southern Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
  • P. n. po - Hartert, 1907: Found on Bioko
  • P. n. melanoxanthus - (Cabanis, 1878): Found from southern Ethiopia and southern Somalia to central and eastern Kenya and north-eastern Tanzania


The black-necked weaver is a stocky 16 cm bird with a strong conical bill. The adult male of the northern race has olive upper-parts and wings, and yellow underparts and head. It has a black eye-mask and bib, and a pale yellow iris. The non-breeding male has a yellow head with an olive crown, grey upper-parts and whitish. The wings remain yellow and black.

P. n. melanoxanthus

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

The southern race found from Nigeria eastwards has a quite different appearance, with almost black upper-parts and tail.

The black-necked weaver feeds on insects and vegetable matter. The calls of this bird include a wheezing dew-dew-twee .

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This weaver occurs in forests, especially in wet habitats.

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

It builds a large coarsely woven nest made of grass and creepers with a 15 cm 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.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Ploceus nigricollis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis". Weaver Watch. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  3. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Old World sparrows, snowfinches, weavers". World Bird List Version 8.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 28 November 2018.

External links[edit]