Orange Weaver Article

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Post  FinchG on Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:26 pm

Characteristics: The Orange Weaver cock has seasonal coloration, being a mottled brownish tan (tinged with green in very young birds) when out of season. The coloration follows a Southern Hemisphere pattern, appearing in late summer and lasting till early winter. The collar and back of the neck, tail and wings change to a brilliant orange. The breast and abdomen and top of he head and face change to shiny black. The bill also becomes dense black. The girth and spread of the feathers also increases so the bird appears much larger than he really is, when in color. Hens do not change color, and are somewhat slimmer than cocks. The onset of color does not appear until the second seasonal cycle after fledging, and for this reason young weaver cocks before the first seasonal molt are frequently sexed as hens.

General Behavior: Along with its impressive color, is has an equally impressive temperament. The Orange Weaver is about the most aggressive and destructive finch type bird you can own. It is not a social bird. It commands a large territory and will give its life in defense of its nests rather than abandon its young or surrender its territory. I say "nests", because it is markedly polygamous in the wild, commanding a harem of as many as fifty hens.

In captivity, pairing the weavers is haphazard. I do know that random pairing simply is ineffective. The cock must have a choice of several hens, and if the territory is large enough, he may claim them all, but only mate with one or two. He will mate with as many hens as he has space to build isolated nests. My own observation leads me to believe that a space at least 12'x12' will be required per nest. You must never place two weaver cocks in a cage together while in color, nor in any aviary which is smaller than double the above size. The weaver is a powerful and persistent defender, and can easily kill other birds, even other weavers, including his mates, if his territory is cramped. It will not be safe to keep other birds in a weaver aviary when the weavers are nesting, even other very aggressive birds. The weaver will overpower them all, or sacrifice his life attempting to eject anything that intrudes on any of his nests. The weavers cannot be bred in any cage.

The weavers are much more manageable during the offseason, and it is possible to keep 3-5 cocks and hens together in a spacious cage, maybe 4'x3'x3'. Even though I have done so, I do not recommend that weaver cocks be confined more than one in any cage. They are very unpredictable and savage when anything is wrong, like the food running low. There are very few acceptable cohabitants for weavers whether in an aviary or cage (and none when the weavers are in color): whydahs, Purple Grenadiers, Aurora and Melba finches, Twinspots, other weaver species (but be very careful here, when housing weaver cocks of different species together). When the weavers color in, the other birds must be removed, or they will be harried and attacked.

I will be posting a picture of the orange weaver.


FinchG
Lots Of Societies, 11 Gouldians, 4 Orange Cheek Waxbills, 2 Orange Weavers, 3 Spice Finches,1 Quaker, 1 Conure and 2 Lineolated Parakeets


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Post  FinchG on Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:16 am

If you read my "Bird Fair' post you know I bought 2 of the female orange weavers because based on the vendor saying they get along with my other finches. I could not remember any information on them, so I took their word, but next time I will have a list of aggressive finches with me so I can look them up before I buy.
Now I have to keep them in a seperate cage and I will not buy a male.

On January 3, 2012, one of my orange weavers who I thought was a female is molting and is a male !!!. As of 1/29/12 he is still not finished and shows no interst in buiding a nest. I know they won't breed in a cage but I would like to see him "weave a nest.


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Lots Of Societies, 11 Gouldians, 4 Orange Cheek Waxbills, 2 Orange Weavers, 3 Spice Finches,1 Quaker, 1 Conure and 2 Lineolated Parakeets


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Post  FinchG on Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:31 pm

<p>Orange weavers eat canary seeds but as all other birds species a diet based only on seeds is not enough. They are very fond of greens and ripe seeds of grasses and small brush. In Africa flock of orange weavers are considered as pests. They are responsible for the destruction of thousands of acres of crops and many farmers in Africa kill orange weavers in great numbers. They may feed on the ground or by hanging from seed heads of grass and plant stems. They also require regular live food (worms, young crickets and termites), which they devour in considerable amounts. Additional vitamin and proteins should be also given throughout the rest of the year.
<p> These birds will require a large aviary and will probably not breed in a large cage. The males requires a lot of space and must have a harem of at least five females. In nature there were recorded cases of males having up to 40 females in his harem!! Because of the highly territorial nature of these birds, only 1 cock should be housed per enclosure. If more than cock are housed together, deadly fights will occur until only one male will survive and will start mating with the females in the aviary.
<p>Orange Bishop weavers’ cocks thread beautiful and complicated nests which hang down of tree branches. Breeding orange bishop weavers has many times proved to be a very hard task. Larger colonies seem to work better than smaller ones, three or four hens per cock better than pairs. Very few success has been achieved in cages as these birds require a large flight space. As a thumb rule a proper aviary for Orange Weavers should be large enough to have 12 feet cube for every weaver housed in it.
<p> The males should be provided strands of long, coarse grass such as green fountain grass and raffia. Some twigs and other nesting material such as coconut fibre should be provided for the males to construct their hanging nests with. Using these raw materials the weaver males will build beautiful and strong nests in which the females can deposit her eggs. After the cock builds his nest(s) and selects a hen or two to mate with, he will do little more to help the hen with her eggs or chicks. The hen will lay, incubate, and rear the chicks almost entirely on her own. Provide plenty of live food and soft food during their breeding season & be sure to remove any young birds as soon as they are independent, so that they are not harmed by the highly territorial cock bird. Young cocks will not molt into the orange & black nuptial plumage until about 2 years of age, but they will begin weaving on their own much sooner than that.
<p>


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