Speke's Weaver 2 by David Clarke

Another shot of this industrious little weaver. This time he was returning to his unfinished nest since a female was about and he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to impress her. 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 (see Speke’s Weaver 3) 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 f2.8L IS lens; ISO400 f3.5 1/2000

Uploaded 20 April 2010
Number of views on 22 May 2011: 230

Best viewed large!

Speke’s Weaver 1

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.

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  • Peter Denness
    Peter Dennessabout 5 years ago

    Great weaver action shot David!

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

    – David Clarke

  • ECH52
    ECH52about 5 years ago

    Beautiful capture, great detail and DOF!

  • Thanks so much, Ernest! And thanks too for the fav!

    – David Clarke

  • Eivor Kuchta
    Eivor Kuchtaabout 5 years ago


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

    – David Clarke

  • Debbie Roelle
    Debbie Roelleabout 5 years ago

    great capture!!

  • Many thanks, Debbie:))

    – David Clarke

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeabout 5 years ago

    Superb catch and capture.

  • Many thanks, Bunny:))

    – David Clarke

  • shararat
    shararatabout 5 years ago

    SUPER NATURAL…….great timing….._concentration _

  • Thanks so much, Shararat! And thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47about 5 years ago

    Incredible, maybe even. But you’ve caught him. I don’t know how she felt about it all, but I’M impressed. And a hearty chinkichi chewchew to you, too. Sounds like a locomotive with a flat wheel.

  • Thanks so much, Sheila. I’m very pleased you liked this shot and the others. Thanks too for the locomotive greetings and also for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • DonnaMoore
    DonnaMooreabout 5 years ago

    What a fantastic shot…Just love all the information you added, it is wonderful since I live in the USA and have never seen one of these beautiful birds. Thank you so much David.

  • My pleasure, Donna, I’m very pleased you liked this little fellow. Weavers are really amazing birds – and there are many varieties – but you have to go to East Africa to see them. Sometimes there are so many nests in a tree that it looks like it’s been decorated with what seem to be rustic lanterns! Many thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • ChrisCoombes
    ChrisCoombesabout 5 years ago

    Great shot David. A mid flight shot with great clarity isn’t easy to get.

  • Many thanks, Chris! You’re right – but it’s great when it happens!

    – David Clarke

  • John44
    John44about 5 years ago

    A bird from Heaven spotted by a trough Angel ( with 2 horns) Don Davide

  • Maybe the devil’s luck to press the shutter release at the right moment!! Thanks so much, Maestro G – and thanks too for the fav!

    – David Clarke

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