There are many spectacular and beautiful birds in Africa. The weaver family of birds are among the more colourful and interesting of them. Adelaide Zoo in South Australia – my home zoo – has a small collection of Grenadier Weavers, as shown in today’s photos. The colourful male is a spectacular bird indeed, especially when in breeding plumage which ranges from bright orange through to red.
Of peculiar interest in relation to this species is a closely related species, the Red Bishopbird. This member of the finch family, also native to Africa, is a commonly kept aviary bird. In the 1920s some of these either escaped or were released from captivity not more than 20km from where I live. A small population survived along the banks of the River Murray for some years, and they were even featured in some earlier field guides. This small population has obviously died out as there have been no reports of any birds since the late 1950s.
Today I feature photos of the Baglafecht Weaver in Addis Ababa.
I think I have the identification of this bird correct. If any of my readers can enlighten me I’d really appreciate the help because I can’t find all that much information about this species online. Sure – I can find heaps of fine photos of this bird in breeding plumage. At that stage it takes on a bright yellow plumage with a black face mask. Only remnants of those bright colours remain in the non-breeding plumage of the bird shown in today’s photos.
These photos were taken on the campus of Bingham International School in Addis Ababa where my daughter was teaching last year. I also found a number of nests nearby which were clearly made by a weaver.