name for a widespread weaverbird, fairly commonly distributed across
South and Southeast Asia, where they inhabit open country, such as
marshlands, grasslands, cultivated areas, scrub and secondary growths,
usually near fresh or brackish water. Its scientific name is Ploceus
philippinus, though despite this name, it is not found in the
Philippines. They are thick-billed and males have a grey to black bill,
a speckled dark brown to black face and throat, tawny-buff underparts
and brown streaked upperparts (fig.). Females are similar, but have a pink
bill, a brownish face and
throat, and have an overall much paler yellow (fig.).
During the breeding season the underparts, rump and crown of the male
becomes bright yellow (fig.). Their retort shaped nests,
which are often built hanging over water, have a long tubular entrance (fig.).
They are woven with 20 to 60 centimeter long strips of paddy leaves,
swamp grasses or strips torn from palm fronds (fig.). To complete a nest, a
male bird may make up to 500 trips to collect the nesting materials. In
Thai, the Baya Weaver is known as
nok krajaab thammada, meaning ‘common
weaverbird’. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.