Length: 15 cm (6").
.The Orange Weaver (Ploceus aurantius) builds its nest low over water, weaving it from the narrow green leaf "ribbons" it has stripped from the branches of nearby oil palms. This male and its mate (which flew in and out of the opening on the underside of the nest) were part of a small colony of these birds that I happened across while out birding the back roads of Buchanan (Jan 14/09). This species is locally common on the edges of lagoons, swamps, and streams in the coastal zone of West Africa, from Sierra Leone eastward, and inland along some major rivers.
The female Orange Weaver, seen here exiting the nest, is a drab olive-gray above and whitish below, with a pale yellow wash around only its head and face. The male, by contrast, truly lives up to its name! Its jet-black bill and eye-stripe contrast beautifully with its rich yellow-orange head and bright yellow underparts.