Ploceus rubiginosus (Chestnut weaver) 

Bruinwewer [Afrikaans]; Kastanjewever [Dutch]; Tisserin roux [French]; Rotbrauner weber, Maronenweber [German]; Tecel„o-canela [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Ploceidae > Genus: Ploceus

Ploceus rubiginosus (Chestnut weaver)   

Chestnut weaver, Roy's Camp, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]


Distribution and habitat

Occurs in two separate areas of sub-Saharan Africa; one extending from Ethiopia to Tanzania and the other population restricted to south-western Angola and southern Africa. Here it is locally common in northern and central Namibia and north-western Botswana, generally preferring dry thornveld and riverine woodland.

Distribution of Chestnut weaver in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).

Predators and parasites

The eggs and chicks have been recorded as food of Cape crows (Corvus capensis).


It mainly eats the seeds of grasses, especially Guinea grasses (Panicum), supplemented with nectar of Aloe species.


  • Polygynous and highly colonial, usually breeding in huge colonies of at least 200 nests in a single tree, but sometimes in over 100 adjacent trees each with 40-100 nests!
  • The nest is built solely by the male, consisting of a retort-shaped structure with a short entrance tunnel at the base. It is usually woven from grasses such as Common nine-awned grass (Enneapogonn cenchroides), love grasses (Eragrostis) and bushman grass (Stipagrostis), and if accepted by the female she lines it with grass seed heads. It is typically strung from the tip of a branch of a tree, such as Acacia, Albizia and Mopane (Colosphermum mopane), about 3-8 metres above ground.
  • It breeds in response to rainfall with an egg-laying season from December-May, peaking from January-March.
  • It lays 1-6 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 11-14 days.
  • The chicks are fed by the female only on a diet of mainly insects, such as caterpillars, grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), leaving the nest after about 13-16 days.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 



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