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Southern Masked Weaver

Southern Masked Weaver
Photo Information
Copyright: Robin Du Bois (robindb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 127 W: 0 N: 378] (1420)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, 58 mm uv Hoya
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos -3- [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-02-03 22:22
Viewed: 5465
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This image was taken at "Nylsvlei" (see below for description). He was near his nest and it seemed as if he was frantically trying to attract females to it by flapping his wings and shouting out at the top of his voice making quite a spectacle of himself.

Southern Masked-Weaver
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Southern Masked-Weaver or African Masked-weaver (Ploceus velatus) is a resident breeding bird species common throughout southern Africa.
This weaver is very widespread and found in a wide range of habitats, including shrubland, savanna, grassland, open woodland, inland wetlands and semi-desert areas. It also occurs in suburban gardens and parks.
The Southern Masked-Weaver is 11-14.5 cm long with a short, strong, conical bill and pinkish brown legs. The adult male in breeding plumage has a black face, throat and beak, red eye, bright yellow head and underparts, and a plain yellowish-green back,
The female has a pinkish-brown bill, brown or red-brown eye and is dull greenish-yellow, streaked darker on the upper back. The throat is yellowish, fading to off-white on the belly. The non-breeding male resembles the female but retains the red eye. The juvenile of this species is like the female.
The call is a harsh swizzling, similar to other weavers. It also utters a sharp chuk alarm note.
The Southern Masked-Weaver nests in colonies, mainly from September to January. Males have several female partners, and build a succession of nests, typically 25 each season. The nests, like those of other weavers, are woven from reed, palm or grass. A female will line a selected nest with soft grass and feathers. The nest is built in a tree, often over water, but sometimes in suburbia. This weaver also nests in reeds.
The Southern Masked-Weaver is usually seen singly or in small groups. It may also form larger flocks, alone or with other seed eating species. It eats insects, seeds and nectar, and will come to feeding tables.
The word vley or vlei is synonymous with "wetland". Therefore Nylsvley is the place where, over the year, more water bird species have been recorded per unit-area than anywhere else in southern Africa.
Moreover, it is accessible (being only 200 kilometers from Johannesburg), it is safe, it is malaria and tsetse-fly free and offers easy birding (wheelchair-users included). The Sasol Kingfisher Hide on the left is accessible for wheelchairs.

The downside is that the Nyl is an ephemeral wetland that is more often dry than wet. Not just dry, but totally devoid of surface water - the one month visitors to the floodplain may have to dust themselves off - the next they could be standing waist deep in water at the same spot, deafened by the roar of frogs, bewildered by the host of crake- and rail-like noises emerging from the marsh all about them, entranced by the overhead passage of whistling White-faced Duck and faced with the pleasant prospect that almost any southern African wetland bird could be arriving.
Although the unpredictable and fitful nature of the Nyl's flooding has been the saving grace of the system, it also confounds any effort at long-range planning to see the area's water birds, as the birds come and go according to conditions and there is no way of knowing in advance what conditions are going to be like.
A spectacular flood in one year may be followed by a succession of drought years, flooding may come early (late November) one year of late (mid-March) the next - a small area be inundated in one year and a large area in another - this is the nature of the system and what a long distance visitor to the area is up against.
Nylsvley is the name of the provincial nature reserve that lies a the upper end of the floodplain of the Nyl Rivier, the term "Nylsvley" is sometimes used, incorrectly, in reference to the entire wetland area. The reserve covers just over 4 000 hectares, of which about 1 000 hactares comprises flood-plain habitat. Most of the floodplain lies outside Nylsvley and it extends downstream on privately-owned farmland for a further 20 or 30 kilometres - covering, in all, about 16 000 hectares.
The floodplain becomes inundated as a result of increased run-off from the adjacent catchment during the summer rains. In years of below-average rain no run-off reaches the floodplain (on average, this happens about one every three years), but there is usually at least some summer run-off and abut one every five to ten years there is sufficient rains to inundate most or all of the floodplain - these are the years to catch Nylsvley! Flooding, when it happens, usually peaks in February and this is followed by a gradual dry-out in which wet areas shrink away, some perhaps persisting through the winter until the next summer rains repeat the cycle.

samandi, Juyona, Tamrock, siggi, uleko, CeltickRanger, eqshannon, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Salaam Robin
Very nice shot and Nicely colour - sharp photo
Good Point of view
Well done .. TFS
-- SADEGH --

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-02-04 0:46]

Hola amigo,
magnífica captura y colores,
buen foco y pov.
saludos Robin

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-02-04 0:47]

Hello Robin
Perfect capture with sharp image and wonderful colors. Great moment too.

Nice pose! Good eye-contact.
Great sharpness,and nice soft background!
And a great bird!

hi robin!
this is a very nice one on the weaver!
congrat to this one!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-02-04 2:28]

Hello Robin,
Great capture of this unique pose of the weaver. Great colors , good sharpness and good composition. This is an excellent shot.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-02-04 4:39]

Hello Robin,
This is a superb capture of this gorgeous Weaver flapping its wings! Excellent focus on the red eye and fine sharp details. The colours of its plumage are really striking and it looks great against the beautiful background. Lovely!!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2009-02-04 6:09]

Hi Robin,

A very nice capture of this weaver,the colors and details looking superb,well done and tfs this colorfull one


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-02-04 8:36]

Hello Robin,
This is a superb photo! The pose is wonderful, the sharpness and details excellent and the colours marvelous. Beautiful OOF BG. Great POV, composition and timing.

Robin merhaba,nasıl şirin bir kuş,kanatları ve renkleri çok güzel,çok sevimli,ellerine sağlık :)

hello Robin

excellent photography of this African bird,
shot at the perfect moment of the bird's that pose
with his open wings, with fine POV and framing,
excellent luminosity and beautiful colour tones,
great sharpness and details, i love the bird's expression
on his glance, with the open wings it adds dynamism to the image,



You really are wiz with that camera..your natural sounding and common name belies the truth that inside of you is a giant love for the natural world and the ability to take images in such good style!

Beautiful shot! The speck of bright red amid the lush green looks enchanting. The branch looks a bit overexposed, but other than that a great pic indeed,

Hi Robin,

The bird on the branch is impressive. The point of view is showing with precision the details and colors of the Southern masked Weaver. The luminosity is enhancing the colors. have a nice day.


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