Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Vitelline Masked Weaver (Ploceus vitellinus)


French: Tisserin vitellin German: Dotterweber Spanish: Tejedor vitelino

Fringilla vitellina

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,



In the past considered conspecific with P. velatus, P. katangae, P. ruweti and P. reichardi. E African populations sometimes separated as race uluensis (described from Ulu Mts, in Kenya), but considerable individual variation evident in characters proposed. Treated as monotypic.


SW Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau#R, S Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana E to S Chad, N Central African Republic, S & E Sudan, South Sudan, NE DRCongo, C & S Ethiopia, NW & S Somalia, NW Uganda and NC Kenya S to C Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 18–22 g. Male breeding has narrow black band on forehead, black mask extending over lores, cheek, ear-coverts, chin and throat; crown chestnut-brown, nape golden... read more


Song a swizzling sequence, interspersed with rasps, whistles and chirps, short form "chick-... read more


Dry savanna woodland and arid scrubland, as in Sahel region. Generally below 1800 m; to 2000 m on... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes seeds and insects, also nectar from Leonotis nepetifolia; birds will bite flowers off at base, mandibulate them to... read more


Breeds Mar on coast and Sept–Oct along river in Mauritania, Jul–Oct in Senegal, Gambia and Mali, Jun–Sept in Burkina Faso... read more


Nomadic flocks form in non-breeding season. Movements likely, influenced by food supply and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to locally common; wide-ranging.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2020). Vitelline Masked Weaver (Ploceus vitellinus). 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 23 February 2020).