Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar

Weaver species list / RELATED SPECIES: Asian Golden Weaver / Baya Weaver / Black-throated Weaver / Finn’s Weaver / Streaked Weaver

IUCN: Least concern Discovery: 030

Categories: Asian, long tube, white eggs, Nest use, palm


Streaked Weaver
Streaked Weaver bill, figure from Swainson 1838

Streaked Weaver, figure from Reichenbach 1863


Streaked Weaver distribution, type locality circled



The Streaked Weaver was formally described by Thomas Horsfield, an American physician and naturalist. Horsfield lived and worked on Java Island in Indonesia from 1811-17. Horsfield began to collect plants and animals on behalf of the governor and friend Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. In 1816 Java was restored to the Dutch and Horsfield moved east to Sumatra.In 1819 Horsfield left Sumatra due to ill health and returned to London. On returning to London, Horsfield continued to be in contact with Sir Stamford Raffles and became a keeper of the museum of the East India Company. He stayed in this position, later as a curator, until his death in 1859. Ultimately the Museum was overwhelmed with collections, and much of the material had to be distributed to other museums, scientific societies. One specimen of the Streaked Weaver is still in the British museum at Tring, but there are probably 3 more type specimens.

The first illustration of a Streaked Weaver is a line drawing of the head and bill in Swainson 1838. The next illustration is a set of birds painted in colour by Reichenbach (1863).

Scientific citation

Fringilla manyar Horsfield 1821 Trans. Linn. Soc. London, 13, p.160 Java.

Meaning of names

manyar Tamil (Sri Lankan) name manja for various weaverbirds.

First English name

Brahminee Baya (Jerdon 1845). In 1840, Jerdon had applied this name to the Bengal Weaver, but then realised that it should apply to this species.

Alternate names

Brahminee Baya, Burmese Streaked Weaver Bird, Indian Streaked Weaver Bird, Javan Weaver, Manyar Weaver, Striated Weaver.



Date collected

Between 1811-17 when Horsfield was collecting on Java.

Locality collected


Type specimens

At least one syntype is in the British Museum (BM 1880.1.1.4730).

The above is based on Weaver Wednesday 2, a weekly series about the discovery of each weaver species.
This species text first appeared as Weaver Wednesday [147] – Discovery [30]: Streaked Weaver on 2015-04-08

1. Basic biology

Streaked Weaver
Streaked Weaver male, non-breeding, figure from wikipedia

Identification. The Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar breeding male has a golden crown, black face and throat, and the underparts are white with black breast streaks. The non-breeding male and female are dull with a buff eyebrow, and lightly streaked breast, distinguishing them from the other Asian weavers. The juvenile is buffy below with indistinct streaking.

Streaked Weaver
Streaked Weaver, adult male, figure from wikipedia

Distribution. Four races are recognised (see map above, based on Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 15):
P. m. manyar occurs on Java, Bawean and Bali Islands (see red on map).
P. m. flaviceps occurs from Pakistan, through India and Nepal to Sri Lanka (see green on map). The male of this race has the face mask and streaking black, rather than brown, the crown is paler yellow, and the breast and flanks are paler.
P. m. peguensis occurs in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China (W Yunnan) and Laos (see yellow on map). This race has very heavy black streaking.
P. m. williamsoni occurs in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam (see orange on map). This race has the side of the head and streaking brown, rather than black. Streaked Weaver map

The Streaked Weaver has been introduced in Egypt along the Nile Delta, where it breeds regularly. It has also been introduced in Japan. Breeding has also been recorded in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, presumably by captive birds that escaped.

Habitat. The Streaked Weaver inhabits wetlands, reedbeds and rice paddies, often with bulrushes, and it often associates with elephant grass.

Food. The Streaked Weaver feeds mainly on seeds, including those of the grasses, rice, wheat, millet and sorghum. In some regions it causes significant damage to rice crops. Nestlings are fed mainly with insects, especially grasshoppers, and also caterpillars, beetles, spiders, and small snails. The Streaked Weaver forages in flocks, often with other weavers. It forms daytime roosts near its feeding grounds during the hottest months. In the non-breeding season, it forms communal roosts in reedbeds and sugar cane.

Breeding. The Streaked Weaver is apparently monogamous, with occasional polygyny recorded. It is colonial, with 15-50 nests at one site in Java. It may breed in mixed colonies with the Black-breasted Weaver (or Bengal Weaver), or alongside Tricoloured Mannikin Lonchura malacca nests.

Streaked Weaver
Streaked Weaver nest, figure from Collias 1964

The nest is retort-shaped, woven on to leaves of supporting plants. There may be an entrance tunnel as long as 30 cm or it may be absent. The nest is woven by the male from strips of reed or palm leaves. The female adds nest lining of fine grass stems, although some breeding nests are unlined. The nest is placed above the water surface in reeds and bulrushes, or in elephant grass. Nest sites also include palm trees (especially in Java), or mangrove trees, or suspended from vegetation growing out of sides of irrigation wells. Often small lumps of mud or clay are added to the sides of the nest entrance. Yellow acacia flowers may be added to the nest as decoration. Nests may be placed near wasps as protection.

2-3 white eggs are laid. The female does most of the incubation and feeding of the nestlings. Nest predators include snakes and crows. In reedbeds, many nests are destroyed by grazing cattle and by people harvesting reeds.

long-tailed tree mouse
long-tailed tree mouse, figure from wikipedia

Small birds, eg Indian Silverbill, and the long-tailed tree mouse has been recorded to take over old nests of the Streaked Weaver.

The above is based on Weaver Wednesday, a weekly series about weaver species.
This species text first appeared as Weaver Wednesday [101]: Streaked Weaver on 2014-05-21

2. Breeding facts

Pair bond
Apparently monogamous, with occasional polygyny

Breeding season
Jun-Sept in Pakistan and India (in S India, nesting dependent on rainfall and suitable growth of bulrushes), Feb-Apr and Jul-Oct in Sri Lanka, Jun-Oct in Myanmar and Mar-May in Java; introduced population breeds in May in Egypt, and nest-building recorded Apr-May (but no eggs laid) in Saudi Arabia

Nest site
nest placed up to 2 m above water surface in reeds and bulrushes, or in elephant grass, sometimes in palm (favoured site in Java), or on mangrove close to human habitation, and in some areas suspended from vegetation growing out of sides of irrigation wells

Nest building
woven by male

Colony size
Coloniai, 15-50 nests at site in Java

Clutch size
2-3 eggs

Egg colour

Egg size
average size of 50 eggs 20.3 x 14.3 mm

incubation shared by male initially, then done by female alone, period 14-17 days

Chicks and nestling period
chicks fed by both sexes, male contributing once nestlings c. 10 days old, nestling period c. 17-18 days

Breeding information based on Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 15.

3. Photos of Weaver Nests

No records yet – be the first to submit a PHOWN record!