ANIMAL: Taveta Weaver Ploceus castaneiceps Type of Animal: Songbird Habitat: Savanna, bulrushes, woodland, swamps/swampy areas, marshes, wetlands, drier bush country, forests, riparian areas, shrubland, never found above 4,921.26 ft Location(s): SE Kenya & E Tanzania Appearance: Males bright yellow w/ greenish wings/tails & chestnut patches on napes/chests, females yellowish-olive w/ dusty streaks & pale yellow underbelly, black beak Food/Diet: Seeds, corn, grains, grasses, insects, fruit, vegetables, insect larvae Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding from zoos, private breeders, & wildlife parks Lifestyle: Colonies often have 30-40 birds Additional Info: Called: Male: Cock Female: Hen Young: Chick Group: Colony Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz Gestation: 2 weeks Life Span: 10-20 years Body Length: 5.5 in Tail Length: 1.375 in Females usually lay 2-3 dark olive green eggs. Often called Taveta Golden Weaver. Colonies often seen in proximity w/ other weaver species. Chicks fledge at 2 weeks old. Sexually mature at 10-12 months. Short thick bills come in handy for cracking seeds open. Often breed twice a year. While common in captivity & in wild, there’s still much more to be learned about these birds. Most common weaver species in captivity. Fun Fact(s): Named after SE Kenyan town of Taveta. Well-known for nest weaving (hence name), males use beaks to weave nests & females choose mate based on male’s weaving skills. Males typically build woven spherical/oval grass/reed nests (usually over water), sometimes w/ up to 5 chambers & long entrance tunnel. Some nests fill entire trees & many trees can have up to 10 nests. Sometimes, multiple males share single nests which will have many apartment-like chambers. If female(s) interested, she’ll line nest w/ fresh grass. If nest fails to be selected by any females, males break nest down & rebuild. While using beaks to make nests, legs/feet/claws used for hanging on while nest building. Very noisy birds making harsh, low-pitched chattering.