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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

White-Browed Sparrow Weaver: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

White-browed sparrow weaver facts illustrate their wonderful lifestyle and traits.

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is a pleasant-looking bird with an abundant range found in areas of southern Africa, and sometimes even parts of Asia. They are part of a large distribution of weaver birds, who get their name due to the fact that they weave very elaborate nests to ensure that their eggs remain safe.

This species of weaver is differentiated from the rest by its extravagant features like its brown and white plumage, a very noticeable white stripe above their eye as well as two white wing bars. The white rump is most noticeable when the bird is in flight.

They are most commonly found in groups of two to eleven, and while they naturally live in flocks only one pair breeds every breeding season. The rest of the flock helps them build breeding nests as well as helps with responsibilities like warding off predators and feeling the young chicks, but only one female incubates the eggs. They are not endangered and are listed as of Least Concern by the IUCN due to their abundant population.

This article has everything you need to know about white-browed sparrow weaver nests, white-browed sparrow weaver females, their range of habitat, range of distribution, and more.

If you enjoy this article, check out LeConte's sparrow facts and saltmarsh sparrow facts.

White-browed Sparrow Weaver Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white-browed sparrow weaver?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is a bird of the family Ploceidae.

What class of animal does a white-browed

sparrow weaver belong to?

The white-browed sparrow (Plocepasser mahali) belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many white-browed

sparrow weavers are there in the world?

The white browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is a species of Least Concern according to the IUCN since there have been reports of this white-browed sparrow taking over areas in the south, north as well as eastern Africa. 

Where does a white-browed sparrow weaver live?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is a species that is predominantly found in areas of Africa. These birds are found throughout dry regions with woodlands or wooded grasslands since they prefer to make their nests along thornveld and scrubby, dry riverbanks. Its range includes Botswana, north and central Namibia as well as Western Zimbabwe. It is found throughout the South Luangwa National Park.

What is a white-browed sparrow weaver's habitat?

The white-browed sparrow weaver's main distribution is in and around arid thorn scrub and broadleaf woodlands. South Africa is the ideal location for these sparrow weavers since it is convenient for them to make their nests on the trees and forage for insects and seeds amongst the grass.

Who do white-browed sparrow weavers live with?

The white browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) lives in flocks all year round. These birds build several roosting nests in one tree to ensure that there are enough birds to ward off predators. These sparrow weavers also search for food in flocks of 20 or more birds. They are usually found in groups or flocks that consist of one breeding pair and the rest are nonbreeding.

How long does a white-browed sparrow weaver live?

The white browed sparrow weaver's (Plocepasser mahali) lifespan can extend up to 10-14 years of age. When bred in captivity, these birds can reach up to 24 years but most records of sparrow weavers' ages are low.

How do they reproduce?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) starts breeding from the beginning of August, depending on the monsoon season. Only a single pair of weavers in a group builds a breeding nest, while the rest live in roosting nests. The dominant female lays one to three eggs that she incubates. The newborn is fed by their mother for the first few days, but eventually every bird pitches in. The chicks fledge between 21-23 days.

What is their conservation status?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is classified as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List since they are widespread in their range.

White Browed Sparrow Weaver Fun Facts

What do white browed sparrow weavers look like?

White-browed sparrows are endemic to parts of Africa.

The male white-browed sparrow weaver sports a black bill while the females have horn-colored beaks; in contrast to the adult birds, the juveniles have pinkish-brown bills. In a few parts of Zimbabwe, to where their range extends, these sparrows show faint brown spotting across their white breast. Both sexes sport the classic broad, white eyebrow stripe as well as a white rump.

How cute are they?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is a cute and compact bird with a very pleasant overall look. They are characterized by their broad, white eyebrow stripe as well as white rump which is visible in flight. 

How do they communicate?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) communicate verbally with each other, either through a brief 'chik-chik' or a loud, fluid whistle.

How big is a white-browed sparrow weaver?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) weighs around 1-2 oz (31-59 g) and is around 6.7-7.5 in (17-19 cm) long. A good way to describe their physical attributes would be to compare them to the fox sparrow. The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is only slightly bigger than the fox sparrow.

How fast can a white browed sparrow weaver fly?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) flies at an average speed but are slow enough to occasionally be overtaken by their predators, including vultures and kites.

How much does a white browed sparrow weaver weigh?

The white browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) weighs around 1-2 oz (31-59 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

White-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) males and females are referred to as cocks and hens, respectively.

What would you call a baby white browed sparrow weaver?

Juveniles of the white browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) are either called chicks, hatchlings, or fledglings.

What do they eat?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is an omnivorous group that eats insects like locusts and caterpillars as well as seeds, fruits, seedpods, leaves, and nectar.

Are they dangerous?

No, the white browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is not a dangerous bird to humans. They might become aggressive when approached during the breeding season, but they are amiable birds in general.

Would they make a good pet?

Since the white browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is small and only one pair out of the group breeds, they might be a convenient pet to own. However, it is important to remember that these sparrow weavers make their homes in groups of sparrow weavers and their growth is most ideal when they have a nest to themselves and lots of open air.

Did you know…

The roosting nests of these sparrows have two openings. One acts as an emergency exit in case of a predator threat while the other leads to a breeding chamber where eggs are incubated and the fledglings are fed.

Weaver nests around the world are outstanding structures. Most sparrow weaver nests are of are cylindrical with a narrow entrance that faces downward ideally situated over or next to the water. The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) makes a nest with an entrance that is downward facing and is as small and narrow as possible in an attempt to put off predators and thieves.

This bird species is eaten by predators like falcons, snakes, kites, and vervet monkeys.

Many white-browed sparrow weaver's nests are hung off of the branches in a basket that makes an orb shape.

Sparrow weavers do not breed in winter

Weaver birds can tie knots, which is an ability unique to them.

How many types of weavers are there?

Weaver birds are a group of birds of several families of small passerine birds. Many of them have yellow plumage but they come in a variety of red, brown, or black while the females tend to vary in duller brown colors. The sparrow weaver bird is a small bird from the family Ploceidae and is chiefly tropical. The main group of weavers includes true weavers, buffalo weavers, sociable weavers, sparrow weavers, and more.

Why is it called white-browed sparrow weaver?

The white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali) bird is called by this name because of its broad white eyebrow stripe and white rump. They are birds who predominantly weave their breeding and roosting nests rather elaborately and are thus called weavers.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Diederik cuckoo facts and black cuckoo facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.

Main image by Charles J. Sharp.

Second image by Valentina Storti.

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