Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Little Weaver (Ploceus luteolus)


French: Tisserin minule German: Zwergweber Spanish: Tejedor chico

Fringilla luteola

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,



Birds from W foot of Mt Elgon, in Uganda, sometimes separated as race kavirondensis, but considered indistinguishable from those in rest of species’ range. Monotypic.


S Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, C & S Mali, Burkina Faso and N Ivory Coast E to N Cameroon, S Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, W Ethiopia, Eritrea, NE DRCongo, Uganda, W Kenya and NW Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

12 cm; 11–15 g. Very small weaver. Male breeding has black face mask covering forehead, crown to just behind eye, cheek, ear-coverts, chin and throat, extending as bib... read more


Song introduced by plaintive musical tones, "sweetiswiswi" or "chip-wop-weep-wop-wop... read more


Savanna woodland with large acacia trees (Acacia), also more open and arid scrubland;... read more

Food and feeding

Diet seeds and insects. Stomach contents included beetles (Coleoptera) and caterpillars (Lepidoptera). Forages usually in acacias and other... read more


Breeds in Jun–Oct in Mauritania and Gambia, May–Nov in Senegal, Aug–Oct in Mali (from Jul in S), Jul–Oct in Ghana,... read more


Resident; some seasonal movements related to rainfall in Mauritania and Nigeria, but in other parts... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common; less common or even scarce at edges of range, e.g. Mauritania.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2020). Little Weaver (Ploceus luteolus). 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 21 February 2020).