Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Spectacled Weaver (Ploceus ocularis)


French: Tisserin à lunettes German: Brillenweber Spanish: Tejedor de anteojos

Ploceus ocularis

A. Smith

, 1828,

Eastern Cape (= Durban), South Africa


Proposed race tenuirostris (described from Okavango region of NW Botswana) is synonymized with crocatus, and brevior (from NE South Africa) with nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. o. crocatus (Hartlaub, 1881) – SE Nigeria and Cameroon E, discontinuously, to W & S South Sudan, SW Ethiopia, Uganda, W Kenya and Tanzania (W of Rift Valley), S to S Angola (R Cunene), NE Namibia (Caprivi Strip), Botswana (Okavango Basin), Zambia (W of Muchinga Mts) and NW Zimbabwe (Zambezi Valley).
  • P. o. suahelicus Neumann, 1905 – Kenya E of Rift Valley, E Tanzania, Malawi, E Zambia, E Zimbabwe and Mozambique (N of R Limpopo).
  • P. o. ocularis A. Smith, 1828 – Mozambique (S of R Limpopo), E South Africa and Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; 22–32 g. Male nominate race has buffish-brown forehead and crown, yellow nape grading into golden-olive on mantle and back; rump and tail olive-green;... read more


    Song of male a short, twanging phrase, directed to female at nest, also when pair-members meet... read more


    Woodland, from savanna with sparse trees to bushy thickets and wooded valleys, also forest margins... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet chiefly insects, including grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), caterpillars (Lepidoptera), beetles and their larvae (Coleoptera),... read more


    Breeds in Dec in Cameroon, Oct in Ethiopia; in DRCongo, Apr–May and Aug–Sept in NE, Sept–Feb in S, Jan–Mar in... read more


    Apparently sedentary; of 298 ringed individuals recaptured or found dead in S Africa, only one was... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and often common in modified habitats; scarce to not uncommon in NW part of range. Estimated population in Kruger National Park, in NE... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. & Bonan, A. (2019). Spectacled Weaver (Ploceus ocularis). 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 10 December 2019).