Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Maxwell's Black Weaver (Ploceus albinucha)


French: Tisserin de Maxwell German: Trauerweber Spanish: Tejedor de Maxwell
Other common names: Maxwell's Weaver

Sycobius albinucha


, 1876,

Quanza, Angola; error = West Africa


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. albinucha (Bocage, 1876) – S Sierra Leone, SE Guinea, Liberia, S Ivory Coast and SW Ghana.
  • P. a. holomelas Sassi, 1920 – S Nigeria, W & S Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, NE & SW Gabon, NW Congo, SW Central African Republic, NE DRCongo and, rare, W Uganda.
  • P. a. maxwelli (Alexander, 1903) – Bioko.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; 25–30 g. Nominate race has plumage black, with glossy upper­parts, nape feathers with white bases, showing as pale patch (especially when plumage... read more


    Soft swizzling call may represent song. Contact call when in flocks "chick chick".


    Lowland evergreen forest, also near villages surrounded by secondary forest, and often in vicinity... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet insects, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and caterpillars (Lepidoptera); also berries, and nectar from flowering trees. Of 13... read more


    In W Africa, active nests in Feb in Sierra Leone, fledglings seen Nov–Dec in Liberia and Ghana, and birds with enlarged gonads in Mar... read more


    No information; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common; rare in Uganda. Possibly vulnerable to destruction of forest habitat. In villages, young in nesting colony... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. (2020). Maxwell's Black Weaver (Ploceus albinucha). 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 25 February 2020).