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Baya Weaver

Common 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. In many ways, it is similar to the Asian Golden Weaver (fig.). 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 and WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).