Loxia philippina Linnaeus, 1766, Philippines = Sri Lanka.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Tisserin baya; German: Bayaweber; Spanish: Tejedor de Baya.
5.1–5.9 in (13–15 cm); female 0.7–1.0 oz (20–28 g), male 0.7–0.9 oz (20–26 g). Breeding male, yellow crown, black face mask, mottled brown upperparts, paler, unstreaked underparts; bill black. Female and non-breeding male, mottled rufousbrown upperparts, some streaking on underparts, bill brown. Juvenile like female.
Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka east to southwestern China, south throughout Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Bali.
Forest edge, open savanna and scrub, cultivated areas. Appears to prefer agricultural land.
Gregarious in flocks, and forms large communal roosts in reedbeds or sugarcane, together with other weavers, seedeating birds, starlings, and bulbuls.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Adults mainly seed-eating, including rice, sorghum, millet, and wheat. Also consumes insects, even frogs recorded, and young fed primarily insects.
Colonial, polygynous. Nest is retort-shaped with entrance tunnel of varying length, often suspended over water in trees or bushes. Male builds nest, displays there to attract mates. Blobs of mud, sometimes dung, regularly added to inside of nest. Long-standing but unsubstantiated legend that male embeds fireflies in mud, so that they illuminate the inside of the nest. Lays two to five eggs, breeding from spring through to autumn, depending on timing of monsoon. Incubation 14–15 days, fledging 13–16 days. Female alone incubates, male may assist in feeding young. Nests robbed by snakes and crows.
Not threatened; locally common to abundant, and regarded as a pest in grain-growing areas.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
At times damages crops, so that farmers often systematically destroy nests at egg or nestling stage.
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