Baya Weaver – song and calls

on 27th November 2021

“It is interesting to note how little is documented about the Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus infortunatus) calls locally. Possibly because they are considered common birds and hence less observed. Wells (2007) notes two types of calls – a harsh ‘chit’ contact call and a rattling song given by males when females approach the nest building described as ‘chit chit chit chit cah-zeeeza’.

“My observations suggest that they have a varied song structure with much complexity and admixture of notes. They are especially vocal around the breeding period with males making loud songs and calls as they approach the nest and when interacting with other males competitively. As they nest communally many calls and songs overlap and one male singing will usually trigger others in response in the absence of females.

“The sonogram and waveform above shows the sonogram and waveform of a ‘classical’ male song. It start off with numerous fast ‘chits’ (10-20 from my recordings) followed by a buzz and then a drawn out decrescendo wheezy whistle and may end with some chirps (see also HBW 2019, Ali S & Ripley SD 1999). There is much variation to this. Note that in the sonogram that there is a horizontal pale bar – this is due to a hum noise from machinery and should be ignored.

“Above shows another sonogram and waveform which comprises a segment where calls and songs are intermixed with more than one bird involved. These call recordings, taken today, were in early nest building with predominantly males in the area. A call recording can be heard HERE. Note that there are other birds in the back ground (Tailorbird, Fantail, Kingfisher).

“Images at the top and above show some of the nest in construction.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
18th December 2019

Location: Outskirts of Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Wetlands

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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