Speke's Weaver 1 by David Clarke

This enthusiastic little weaver is just leaving his unfinished nest in search of more blades of grass to weave into the construction. He was one of several building nests in a tree above our safari tent in Timau, Nanyuki, Kenya, all of whom commenced their morning song around 5 a.m. prior to their day’s work. When not charging back and forth to collect materials for their nests, they would hang upside down whistling madly to attract the attention of any passing females. The girls in turn would inspect the nests and often fly off with a disdainful whistle, leaving the males all of a fluster and literally chasing each other round in circles.
My aim in this shot and others to be added was to capture the birds in flight as the arrived at or left their nests. However they move fast and I collected a lot of empty frames!

If you’d like to see a collection of other shots of these amazing little birds, click here

Mr Wikipedia has this to say on these pretty little birds: ’Speke’s Weaver (Ploceus spekei) is a familiar East African songbird. The eyes are pale and the bill is on the large side for a weaver. Unlike many weavers, it has the same plumage all year. The adult male is yellow with black throat (edged rusty), face, and bill, and variable black mottling on the back. The adult female’s upperparts are dull olive-gray with dusky brown streaks; the underparts are pale yellow, whiter on the belly and grayer on the flanks. The juvenile is similar but duller.
The song is variable; one version is transcribed as "pew…pew…tew, chinkichi-chewchew-skerinkitsitew. Calls include harsh chatter at the nest and “a sharp tseep!”
This species nests in colonies or occasionally singly. The nest, often woven in an acacia, is spherical with a short entrance tube opening sideways or downward. Many grass stems project sloppily, sometimes obscuring the shape. It nests in both the short rainy season and the middle of the long rainy season. Typical clutches comprise four eggs, which are unmarked deep blue, somewhat pointed at both ends, 24 to 26 mm long and 15 to 17 mm wide.
Speke’s Weaver is found in northern and eastern Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya (mostly the central highlands), and northeastern Tanzania. It inhabits savanna, bush, agricultural land, and towns. In parts of its range it is common, notably the densely populated area of Nairobi and environs, where it visits bird feeders.
This bird was named in honor of John Speke.’

Canon EOS 1DMkII with Canon 300mm L IS lens and Canon 1.4 extender; ISO400 f4 1/1600

Posted 10 April 2010
Views 19 January 2011: 982
Favourited 19 January 2011: 85 people

Best viewed large

Speke’s Weaver 2

Speke’s weaver 3

Living for partly in Italy, partly in Phuket and partly in other locations around the world – Hong Kong & Kenya when I can – I spend a lot of time photographing anything and everything. I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing shots of wildlife large and small – from elephants to insects. A wider selection of my work can be seen on my website at www.dgcphoto.com.

View Full Profile


    JUSTARTabout 5 years ago

    great shot

  • Many thanks, Sylvia :))

    – David Clarke

  • Ritva Ikonen
    Ritva Ikonenabout 5 years ago

    Stunning shot, David! Your aim was completely achieved! Such a beautiful image showing all the details of that pretty little bird. Thanks for the information too!

  • Thanks so much, Ritva :))

    – David Clarke

  • KeepsakesPhotography Michael Rowley
    KeepsakesPhoto...about 5 years ago

    beautifully captured , brilliant shot !!

  • Many thanks, Michael!

    – David Clarke

  • canonman99
    canonman99about 5 years ago

    awesome !!

  • Thanks very much, Dennis!

    – David Clarke

  • lorilee
    lorileeabout 5 years ago

    A fabulous capture!!!!

  • Many thanks, Lorilee:))

    – David Clarke

  • JHRphotoART
    JHRphotoARTabout 5 years ago

    Great image.

  • Many thanks, Janusz!

    – David Clarke

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeabout 5 years ago

    Simply magnificent. Gorgeous capture.

  • Thanks very much, Bunny! And thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • Beve Brown-Clark
    Beve Brown-Clarkabout 5 years ago

    OMG…a wonderful capture of this little guy in flight…beautiful!

  • Many thanks, Beve! And thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanabout 5 years ago

    OH DAVID!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!! How darling is this little guy!!!!!! And what gorgeous coloring!!!!!! Beautiful, beautiful capture!!!!!! What timing!!!!!!! WHEEEE!!!!!! Gotta fave him!!!!!!

  • Thanks so much, Lois! Lovely to hear from you. Thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • Digitalbcon
    Digitalbconabout 5 years ago

    Wow!! What a shot!! In mid flight no less!! Awesome capture David…instant fave for me!!

  • Many thanks, Blair! And thanks too for the fav!

    – David Clarke

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.