Wildlife Species of the Week

Ibadan Malimbe (Malimbus ibadanensis)

Ibadan malimbe is a small passerine bird belonging to the family Ploceidae (a family of weavers). Like other Malimbe birds, Ibadan malimbe has two distinct colors, black and red. This malimbe is a forest-dwelling bird sighted in the University College, Ibadan, now the University of Ibadan, in 1951.

As part of its diet, the Ibadan malimbe feeds on insects, thereby controlling the population of insects in the forest that are capable of causing damage to trees and other forest plants. Like other birds, they also help in pollination.

Interestingly, all malimbe birds are known for their conspicuous black and red color. The Ibadan malimbe is differentiated from other malimbes by having a redhead that spreads across the breast region with the rest of its body black. The Ibadan Malimbe is also one of Nigeria’s endemic birds. However, Ibadan malimbe is resident in southwest Nigeria. As a forest-dwelling species, Ibadan malimbe moves in pairs or groups, just like other weaver birds.

Sadly, the most challenging threat to the Ibadan malimbe is habitat destruction through land clearing and bush burning. Due to the increased level of urbanization, their preferred habitat, the forest, is being encroached increasingly. As we lose their home, we lose them too.