Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Cape Weaver (Ploceus capensis)


French: Tisserin du Cap German: Kapweber Spanish: Tejedor de El Cabo

Oriolus capensis


, 1766,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


In the past has been considered conspecific with P. temporalis. Report of hybridization in captivity between “Olivaceous and Golden Weavers” probably refers to present species and either P. xanthops or (more likely) P. subaureus. Proposed races are olivaceus (described from Windvogelberg, in S Eastern Cape) and rubricomus (from NE South Africa), but male plumage exhibits considerable variation within any one colony, distribution is continuous, and size variation appears to be clinal; naming of geographical races, therefore, considered unwarranted. Treated as monotypic.


South Africa (except arid interior and subtropical E lowlands), including Robben I (off SW coast), also W Swaziland and Lesotho lowlands.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; male 44–52 g, female 36–45 g. Relatively large yellow weaver. Male breeding has chestnut-brown to orange-brown on forehead, chin and throat, grading into... read more


Song a long series of chattering and wheezing notes on one pitch, tailing off without clear... read more


Open country with scattered trees and permanent water, including fynbos (macchia); in arid regions... read more

Food and feeding

More or less omnivorous, taking about equal amounts of animal and vegetable food; female may exploit wider variety of food than male. Seeds... read more


Breeds in Jul–Nov in winter-rainfall region of Western Cape (even Jun when high rainfall occurs early in season) and Aug–Feb (... read more


Resident, with some local movements away from breeding areas. Of 173 individuals ringed, nine moved... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Abundant throughout most of its range. Likely to have increased in numbers as a consequence of agricultural development and expansion; has colonized... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2017). Cape Weaver (Ploceus capensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 November 2017).