White-headed Buffalo Weaver

[Dinemellia dinemelli]

The length of the White Headed Buffalo Weaver is about 9 inches. It is somewhat parrot-like in appearance, not like other weavers. It is a heavy-looking bird, white from the head and nape through the throat down to the flanks. The back is brown, the wing bars, primary and secondary feathers are brown edged with white or cream. The bend of the wing is orange. The tail is squared and brown. When the bird is in flight a bright red-orange rump and upper and under tail coverts are visible. Both sexes look the same. The call is loud, harsh and parrot-like, and it may also utter series of notes described as bubbling, twittering or chattering.

Location: African Elephant Crossing - Seasonal

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Range

The range of the White Headed Buffalo weaver includes Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan south to Lake Tanganyika, into Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.


Habitat

White Headed Buffalo Weavers inhabit Acacia woodlands, dry brush and thorn-bush scrub.


Gestation

Incubation: 12-17 days


Litter

Clutch size: 3-4 eggs


Behavior

White Headed Buffalo Weavers are found in pairs or small flocks, sometimes mingled with some Starling species. This is a shy bird, which feeds on the ground near acacia trees. They generally do not migrate.


Reproduction

Breeding for White Headed Buffalo Weavers begins in August/September in the equatorial regions, and March/April in the southern end of the range. Sometimes they will form a tight colony, nesting in adjacent trees, but more often the colony is spread out. The male builds a rough, retort-shaped nest suspended from an acacia branch. When it is completed, he will hang from the entrance, flapping his wings and calling. If a female accepts the nest, she will line it with soft grasses and some feathers. He will then begin to defend a small area around the nest, and mate with the female. Once mated, he may build another nest and attract another female. Nestlings are fed seeds and insects, but data is not clear on parental responsibilities


Wild Diet

Seeds, fruits, insects


Zoo Diet

Fruit, insectivorous diet


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