Most weaver birds eat mainly seeds and insects. They are omnivorous, so they do eat both plants and animals, but their food preferences depend largely upon the specific type.
The length and thickness of a weaver bird's bill often determines what it eats. Weavers with slender bills eat mostly insects, while the birds with short, thick bills usually eat seeds. The thick-billed weaver has the thickest bill in the family and uses it to crack open nuts and forest fruits. The spectacled weaver has a very slender bill more suited to a diet of insects. Weavers feed their babies insects because the chicks need the protein that insects provide.
Weaver birds get their name from the intricate nests that many of them weave together. They gather grass, roots, twigs and leaves to build their nests and use their beaks and feet to tie knots in the materials. This makes their nests more secure, protecting them from predators.
Weavers live in savannas, steppes, forests and swamps in Africa and Asia. They are generally between 4 and 10 inches long and vary in color depending on gender and season. Male weaver birds are often yellow, black, red or orange, and females are generally brown.