Lee Richardson Zoo

Taveta Golden Weaver

Order:  Passeriformes - song birds

Family:  Ploceidae - weavers, sparrows, and whydahs

Scientific Name: Ploceus castaneiceps


Description The Taveta golden weaver is a small perching bird with a short, heavy beak.  The male is bright yellow with a greenish-yellow back and greenish wings and tail.  There are chestnut patches on the nape and chest.  Unlike other weaver species, where non-breeding males resemble females, the male taveta golden weaver keeps his bright plumage year-round.  The female is yellowish-olive with dusky streaks, pale yellow on the underparts.  There is a yellowish stripe above the eye.  Both sexes are 5 ½ inches long.

Home Range: Southeastern Kenya and Northeastern


Habitat Type:  Open acacia woodland where there is bushy undergrowth;  requires thick vegetation near water.


Reproduction:  Taveta golden weavers breed in colonies.  Males build elaborate woven nests to attract females.  The typical weaver nest begins as an upright ring woven between branches or reeds, usually over water.  The male then extends the ring to form a breeding chamber on one side, and the other side becomes the entrance, sometimes with an attached tunnel.  After the nest is built, the female lines the interior with grass or other soft material.  Some males may join together to build a large nest with many apartment-like chambers, which many pairs can share.  They lay 2-3 olive green eggs in each clutch.  Females may catch insects or other live prey for their chicks.


Diet in the Wild:  Mostly seeds of grass and corn;  chicks also eat live prey like insects and small vertebrates.


Diet in the Zoo:  Soft-billed bird diet, small bird maintenance, minced fruits and vegetables.


General Information:  Like most other weavers, Taveta golden weavers are very gregarious.  They nest in large colonies, sometimes in the company of other weaver species.  They are very noisy birds, and their voice has been described as a constant low chattering. 


Conservation Status:  They have a very limited range, but they are common locally.


PredatorsNo information available.



A Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa.  1985.  J.G. Williams, and N. Arlott.  Collins, London.  pp. 361, 366.


Finches and Soft-billed Birds.  1970.  H. Bates and R. Busenbark.  T.F.H. Publications.  pp. 176-177.


Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, Vol. 9.  1972.  B. Grzimek.  Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York.  pp. 421-444.


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