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White-browed Sparrow-weaver

White-browed Sparrow-weaver
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5084 W: 166 N: 13009] (48434)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/11, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-26 9:08
Viewed: 4813
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The White-browed Sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser mahali) is a predominantly brown, sparrow-sized weaver found throughout central and northcentral southern Africa. It is found in groups of two to eleven individuals consisting of one breeding pair and nonreproductive individuals.

It ranges from 17 to 19 centimeters (6.7 to 7.5 inches) in length and is characterized by a broad, white eyebrow stripe and white rump visible in flight. While the male White-browed Sparrow-weaver sports a black bill, the female's bill is horn-colored; that of the juvenile is pinkish-brown. In Zimbabwe, the White-browed Sparrow-weaver shows faint brown spotting across its white breast.

The White-browed Sparrow-weaver may emit either a brief chik-chick or a loud, fluid, cheoop-preeoo-chop whistle.

The Yellow-throated Petronia has a pinkish brown (not black) bill, a buff (not white) eyebrow stripe, black (not pink) feet, and yellow shading at the bottom of a white throat. Additionally, the White-browed Sparrow-weaver is larger than the Yellow-throated Petronia. Unlike the White-browed Sparrow-weaver, the Yellow-throated Petronia may be found in broad-leaved woodland.

Distribution, habitat and migration
The White-browed Sparrow-weaver is found in greatest numbers in north-central southern Africa. While this species most densely populates at dry regions with woodland or wooded grassland at northern South Africa, its range includes Botswana, northern and central Namibia, and western Zimbabwe. Populations may be found as far north as Ethiopia.
This species nests along thornveld and scrubby, dry riverbanks.
Because the White-browed Sparrow-weaver nests in colonies, populations are sedentary.

There are four recognized subspecies of the White-browed Sparrow-weaver.
• P. m. mahali is found in the eastern part of the northern Cape Province of South Africa.
• P. m. stentor is found from the western part of the northern Cape Province northwards along the Namibian escarpment.
• P. m. terricolor is found towards the center of the White-Browed Sparrow-weaver's range, occurring predominantly in eastern Botswana.
• P. m. pectoralis is found in northeastern Zimbabwe along the lower Zambezi river.

Year round, groups of the White-browed Sparrow-weaver are active and nest-building. Groups of ten to sixty inverted-U-shaped nests of dry grass appear in the outside limbs of trees, although only several are used for breeding or roosting. While breeding nests have only one entrance, roosting nests have an entrance located at each of the two nest extremities. Research has shown that, throughout a region, nests are located at the leeward side of a tree. This behavior preserves a greater number of intact nests for breeding and roosting. White-browed Sparrow-weaver nests are sometimes used by other birds, such as the Red-headed Finch and Ashy Tit.

Breeding has been observed year round, but occurs mainly in warmer months.

The White-browed Sparrow-weaver is becoming more abundant, expanding its range on southern, northern, and eastern fronts.

Source: Wikipedia

siggi, nglen, jaycee, robindb, boreocypriensis, vanderschelden, crs, Pentaxfriend, maurydv, jrobertop, gracious, iris, uleko, mariki, Hans_Cronert, Adanac has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-09-26 9:41]

Hello Peter,
Lovely shot of the Sparrow.
I like the pose wou have captured and its a good POV.Very nice details.
Lovely colours with the sparrow contrasting nicely with the blue OOF BG.
Regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-26 9:44]

Hi Peter.You were able to get some very good close ups with the 70 - 300 lens on your trip. A good POV in this ittle Sparrow which you have taken with good detail and natural colours. With a fine pose in the tree against the bright blue sky. well done TFS. Good notes too.

Have a nice weekend.

Hello Peter
This is a superb capture of a very beautiful bird and one that is new to me. A very good placement of the subject in the frame makes this a splendid post..The notes are very informative and interesting also.
Tfs and Best Regards

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2461 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-26 10:24]

Hi Peter,

A wonderful shot of another beautiful bird I have not seen before. The pose on the tree and the position of the tree in the frame is eye catching. I love the brown and white of the Sparrow-weaver. The face, eye, wings and plummage are striking. He looks like a very proud little bird. The composition is fantastic.


Hi Peter,

Very well handled image, good focus , DOF and detail on the plumage. The branch adds interest to the composition.
Good notes.


Hi Peter, I think all beautiful birds wait for you for photographing them. This one is perfect. Your shot is excellent as usual. Many thanks for sharing this beauty my friend.
Have a nice weekend!


Hello Peter
very beautiful sparrow from Ethiopia and its great capture. Diagonal composition with thorny branch very nice. Green leaves too. Plain BG and sharp focus great. Nicely composed. I enjoy to fallow your African seri. Thanks for sharing them. have a nice weekend

Avond Peter,
Qua naamgeving dekt de vlag de lading. Waarschijnlijk maakt ie ook van die grote hangnesten. Niet zo kleurrijk als andere wevers maar daarom niet minder mooi. Hij past wel bij het beeld dat we van Ethiopië hebben. Allez, mijn beeld toch:-)
Bdeankt en groeten,

Ha Peter,

Prachtig shot
je maak perfect gebruik van het aanwezige licht
uitstekende compo met prima kleuren en scherpte

TFS Thijs

Ciao Peter,
splendida cattura di questo passeriforme, ottimi POV e composizione, molto buone nitidezza e definizione dei dettagli, molto belli e naturali i colori. Eccelente utilizzo dello zoom con un ottimo contrasto anche alla massima focale di 300 mm.

Hello Peter.
Excellent picture of this pretty bird!
Fine details and soft coloration.
Very good framing and POV.
The blue of sky as background is very pleasant.
José Roberto

Hello Peter,
This is a beautiful and good shot on the Sparrow-Weaver!
superb sharpness with very nice colour and details
the clarity on the plummage is amazing and well done

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-09-26 21:45]

Dear Peter,
A sharp and crisp shot of the White-browed Sparrow-weaver against the blue sky.The lighting has aided you in perfectly executing this shot.The catchlight and the details on the plumage are wonderful.I always wonder how these bird manage to land and stay unhurt on such thorny plants.70-300 must be one powerful lens, but i feel at the end of the day it is the talent of the photographer that produces a great shot.
very well done.
TFS & Cheers my friend

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 486 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-09-27 0:26]

Hi Peter
very nice composition and colors
very good saharp
well done.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3423 W: 173 N: 3309] (10940)
  • [2008-09-27 8:12]

Hello Peter,
I don't think I've seen this bird before - a Sparrow-weaver!! Brilliant capture showing sharp details and lovely colours against the blue sky. A very nice composition too!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-09-27 12:27]

Hello Peter,

Very nice presentation of this sparrow. Good composition on the acacia tree. Excellent focus. Great light and colours.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-09-27 13:59]

Hello Peter,

You have shown well the plumage of this bird as you have chosen a good POV. Your coposition with few elemnts looks very fine. It alows to the viewer concentrate on the main subject, the bird.

Thank you for sharing,

Hi Peter,
Excellent capture of this White-browed Sparrow-weaver with very nice pose and composition, sharp details and bright natural colours.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1001 W: 4 N: 3276] (14759)
  • [2008-09-27 23:58]

Hello Peter, This is a wonderful shot and a superb one Well done Ganesh

Ciao Peter, lovely diagonal composition with little bird, wonderful colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5077 W: 260 N: 15590] (50614)
  • [2008-09-28 7:20]

Hello Peter,
Beautifully composed on a thorn bush in fine lighting against a blue sky, you captured this White-browed Sparrow-weaver with excellent sharpness. The POV is great too and allows us to enjoy the features of this African passerine.
Thanks for sharing this beauty,

Excellent shot. Sharp, wellabalanced focus and good colours on the bird and the thorny branch.
Thans for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-06 4:25]

Hello Peter,
What a cute little fellow caught in great light. Great notes accompany this excellent image, very well done Peter.

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