|At a Glance|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
The male has a black bill, white forehead and conspicuous white patches in its wings; the rest of its plumage varies racially, from chestnut to black.
The sexes are dissimilar, and the female has a yellow bill, brown upperparts, and underparts white heavily striped with sepia.
This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.
It mainly eats fruit and seeds, doing most of its foraging in the forest canopy and on the ground, occasionally hawking termites aerially.
The nest is built solely by the male in about 2-12 days, first constructing a cup (unlike other weavers such as Ploceus) over which a dome is woven, forming an oval-shaped structure with a side entrance. It is usually made of woven material, usually Bulrush (Typha capensis) leaves, and once completed and approved by the female she lines the interior with finer material. It is typically suspended between at least two upright stems of Bulrush, reeds (Phragmites) or Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus).
Egg-laying season is from November-April.
It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 14-16 days.
The chicks are fed solely by the female on a diet of soft larvae, insects and fruit pulp, leaving the nest after about 19-22 days.
Occurs in patches of West and East Africa, extending south through Tanzania and northern DRC to Zambia, Angola and southern Africa.
In Southern Africa it is locally common in northern Botswana, Caprivi Strip (Namibia), Zimbabwe's eastern highlands, central and southern Mozambique and north-eastern and south-eastern South Africa.
In the breeding season it generally favours marshes, rivers, dams with rank grass, reedbeds and Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) beds, but in the non-breeding season it prefers edges and clearings in evergreen forest, also occupying reed-beds adjacent to ponds in suburban parks, alien plantations and cultivated areas.
It is hunted by the African Goshawk.
The Thick-billed weavers have returned and thrived in Memorial Park since the wetlands were rehabilitated in the late 2000’s.
Sometimes the male builds it in a tree adjacent to marshes, but it is always rejected by the female.
The Thick-billed Weaver is in a monotypic genus (only one species in the genus), namely Amblyospiza, this name meaning "blunt, finch", referring to its amazingly heavy bill.
A sound clip is available on SoundCloud.