Clarke’s Weaver breeding records

Clarke's Weaver
Clarke’s Weaver male (photo: © Colin Jackson)

Clarke’s Weaver is a social weaver that lives and breeds in flocks. It is restricted to a small area in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Dakatcha area in south-east Kenya. Nothing was known about its breeding habits until an active colony was discovered in March 2013. It has been found breeding a few times since, and these records are listed below.



Record Date Notes Web links
  1 23-26 March 2013 Arbamukenge wetland; c 700 birds nesting in wetland sedges news; PHOWN
  2 9 May-11 June 2015 pool in the Gandi River; c 80 nests in wetland sedges news; PHOWN
  3 7 December 2018 Warisesemulu wetland; over 100 nests in wetland sedges PHOWN
  4 22 November 2019 Warisesemulu wetland; few pairs and fledglings
Clarke's Weaver
Clarke’s Weaver male and female with food (photo: © Colin Jackson)

The recent sighting was documented on the kenyabirdsnet by Fleur Ng’weno on 23/11/2019 as follows, entitles “November: new date for Clarke’s Weaver nesting in Dakatcha Woodland”:

A team from Nature Kenya and Dakatcha Woodland Conservation Group found Clarke’s Weavers nesting in Warisesemulu wetland north of Kamale on 22 November 2019.

Clarke’s Weavers may now be called Kilifi Weavers, as they are only found in Kilifi County – nowhere else in the world. They were observed nesting at the same wetland on 7 December 2018. This year the “short rains” season started early and has been heavy in many parts of Kenya, thereby providing good nesting habitat earlier than last year.

This year we observed more females – or perhaps immatures – than males, and the water was high, making it difficult to observe the nest site. It’s possible that the nesting was ending, with just a few pairs and fledglings remaining – but this is only a guess. There were also a number of nesting Grosbeak Weavers in the same wetland.

Other weavers

Some other weaver species that breed in reeds but forage in woodland or forest during the non-breeding season are the Thick-billed Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons and Weyns’s Weaver Ploceus weynsi.

The nest of the following weaver species have not been described yet: Bates’s Weaver Ploceus batesi, Golden-naped Weaver Ploceus aureonucha, and Yellow-legged Weaver Ploceus flavipes.

Dieter is a qualified Bird Ringer and trainer, registered bird guide, and Weaver expert. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.