Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser superciliosus)


French: Mahali à calotte marron German: Kastanienscheitelweber Spanish: Tejedor gorrión coronicastaño

Ploceus superciliosus


, 1827,

Kordofan, Sudan


Proposed race brunnescens (described from Bozoum, in NW Central African Republic) appears to be inseparable from individuals in rest of species’ range. Monotypic.


Gambia and S Senegal, SW Mali and N & C Guinea; and from S Burkina Faso and N parts of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin E in narrow band to N Central African Republic and SW Sudan, thence E to W Eritrea and W & N Ethiopia and, in S, to South Sudan, NE DRCongo, N Uganda and W Kenya.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 30–45 g. Large brown-and-white sparrow-like weaver with rufous crown. Has forehead and crown chestnut-brown, white superciliary stripe, pale chestnut lores and... read more


Song a short phrase of jumbled notes, often ending in trill. Soft, rapid ticking call reported.


Woodland and tall bush areas, generally below 2000 m. In Ethiopia, occurs above P. mahali... read more

Food and feeding

Few details. Seeds reported in diet. Forages mainly on ground, often in association with waxbills (Estrildidae), sparrows and ... read more


Breeds Sept–Nov in Gambia, Jun in Burkina Faso, Apr–Aug in Nigeria, Feb and May–Jun in Sudan, May in Ethiopia, Mar–... read more


Presumed mostly resident. In Ghana described as partial migrant, with notable increase in numbers... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to rather scarce throughout range; generally local. Occurs in semi-arid regions, where human populations normally sparse.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Bonan, A. (2020). Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser superciliosus). 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 5 April 2020).