Sociable weaver

(Philetairus socius)


Facts

Sociable weaver IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)

 

Facts about this animal

The sociable weaver is a sparrow-sized passerine with a total length of 14 cm and a body-weight of 26-30 g. Sexes look alike, buff-brown above, scaled pattern on back, nape and wing-coverts, buff-white below with scaled flank-patches, and a blackish throat patch extending to lores.

Sociable weavers live in large flocks, usually spending much time on the ground where they feed on seeds and insects.

Sociable weavers build communal nests, which, from a distance, resemble haystacks hanging in a tree. A nest may be occupied by up to 100 sociable weaver families all year long. It has many nest entrance tunnels which can be up to 25 cm long and 7 cm wide. Round, cozy nesting chambers are usually 10-16 cm in diameter.Some sociable weaver nests have remained occupied for over 100 years.

The female produces a clutch of 2-6 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about 13 days. The young fledge after 21-24 days.

Did you know?
that the nests of sociable weavers are temperature-controlled? Large nests help the sociable weavers stay comfortable in the harsh climate of the Kalahari Desert. During freezing winter nights a move to the nest’s well-insulated centre chambers helps the little birds stay warm. Scorching summer temperatures are easier to weather when roosting in one of the outer chambers of the nest.


 

Factsheet
Class AVES
Order PASSERIFORMES
Suborder OSCINES
Family PLOCEIDAE
Name (Scientific) Philetairus socius
Name (English) Sociable weaver
Name (French) Républicain social
Name (German) Siedelweber
Name (Spanish) Pájaro republicano
Local names Afrikaans: Familievoël, Versamelvoël
seTswana: Kgwêrêrê
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed

 

 

Photo Copyright by
Thomas Schoch

Distribution

 


Distribution
Range Southern Africa: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
Habitat Dry thornveld and broadleafed savanna
Wild population Not quantified but believed to be large (2004) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 45 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Sociable weaver

 

How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 11B of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.

 

Find this animal on ZooLex

 

Photo Copyright by
Harald Süpfle

Why do zoos keep this animal

Sociable weavers are not a threatened species. Their interesting social behaviour is however of major educational interest, and they are a good ambassador species for the conservation of southern African aridlands, in particular if dispayed as part of a multispecies themed exhibit.