Animal Name: Masked Weaver
Scientific Name: Ploceus velatus
It generally favours semi-arid scrub, open savanna, woodland edges, riverine thicket, farmland with scattered trees, alien tree plantations and gardens.
Occurs across southern Africa even in arid areas, extending into Angola, Zambia and Malawi.
It mainly eats seeds, fruit, insects and nectar, doing most of its foraging in small flocks, gleaning prey from leaves and branches, taking seeds from the ground and grass stems.
Polygynous, as males may mate with up to about 12 females in a single breeding season, living in colonies with 1-9 males in total, while each female may often rear multiple broods per breeding season. It is much less aggressive in comparison to most other weavers, although it viciously attacks Diderick cuckoos if they enter its territory.
The nest (see images below) is built solely by the male, consisting of a kidney-shaped structure with a large entrance on the bottom, made of woven grass, palm leaves or reeds with a ceiling of leaves, such as Acacia and Eucalyptus. If the female accepts the nest she lines the interior with leaves, grass inflorescences and feathers.