Family Weavers (Ploceidae)


Usambara Weaver (Ploceus nicolli)


French: Tisserin des Usambara German: Usambaraweber Spanish: Tejedor de los Usambara

Ploceus (Symplectes) nicolli

W. L. Sclater

, 1931,

Amani, East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania


In the past treated as conspecific with P. olivaceiceps. Birds in S of range sometimes recognized as race anderseni, separated by minor plumage details from birds in rest of species’ range, but differences considered too trivial to warrant naming of geographical races. Treated as monotypic.


East and West Usambara, Uluguru and Udzungwa Mts, in E Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 26–33 g. Male has forehead and crown buffy brown, blending into olive on nape, which is sharply demarcated from black of mantle and back; rump feathers black... read more


Song a rhythmic series of repeated notes, rising in pitch, "swi-iri t'swi-i t'swi-i t'swi-i"; "swi-... read more


Evergreen montane forest, including forest edge and disturbed areas; occasionally in plantations... read more

Food and feeding

Insects found in stomach contents. Gleans from trees covered in epiphytes; often hangs upside-down while feeding, and may tear off pieces... read more


Nest described as resembling that of P. bicolor (made from dry tendrils and creepers), with shorter entrance tunnel and more... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted range species: present in Tanzania-­Malawi Mountains EBA. Rare. Occurs at low densities in montane forests in Eastern Arc Mts of Tanzania, where it... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2020). Usambara Weaver (Ploceus nicolli). 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 18 February 2020).