Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Masked Weaver (Ploceus intermedius)


French: Tisserin intermédiaire German: Cabanisweber Spanish: Tejedor intermedio

Ploceus intermedius


, 1845,

Shoa, Ethiopia


Proposed races beattyi (described from W Angola) and luebberti (from Damaraland, in NC Namibia) synonymized with cabanisii. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. i. intermedius Rüppell, 1845 – Djibouti, Ethiopia, NW & S Somalia, SE South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya (except NE), NE DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania (except SW).
  • P. i. cabanisii (W. K. H. Peters, 1868) – SW Congo, coastal Angola, SW Tanzania, SE DRCongo, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, W & SW Mozambique, N Namibia, N & E Botswana, N & E South Africa and Swaziland.
  • Introduced (nominate race) to United Arab Emirates.

    Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 17–27 g. Male nominate race breeding has forehead and forecrown, lores, cheek, ear-coverts, chin and throat black, hindcrown orange-chestnut, nape and side of... read more


    Song a long swizzling call, interspersed with chattering notes and other elements, "swizzzzzz... read more


    Bushed and wooded grassland, also cultivated areas, favouring localities near water; often close to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects, including caterpillars (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), termites (Isoptera); also seeds, mulberries, flowers... read more


    Season Jan–May in DRCongo, Oct–Nov and Mar–May in Rwanda, Mar, May–Jul and Sept in Ethiopia, Jun in Somalia, Mar... read more


    Presumed resident, but moves away from breeding areas. Rainy-season visitor to S Sudan. Greatest... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally abundant. Population in Swaziland estimated at fewer than 1000 individuals; more than 4000 in C & S Mozambique, on SE... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. (2020). Lesser Masked Weaver (Ploceus intermedius). 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 26 February 2020).