Sociable Weaver range expansion 2012-07-03 (234)
Last week Doug Harebottle and Arnold van der Westhuizen found a slight range expansion in the Sociable Weaver. Doug wrote the following:
"Arnold and I spent last week near Springbok doing some wind farm assessment work and we came across six Sociable Weaver nests/colonies. The farmers said that the birds only moved in in the last five or so years. Checking SABAP2 and PHOWN records shows that these are quite westerly records for South Africa and show definite range expansion since SABAP1. Four colonies are using Kokerbome (Quiver Trees), one using a telephone pole and one using a dead tree. Only two colonies (on the same farm) had birds entering or leaving chambers."
The two active colonies are phown 2516 (left) and phown 2524 (right). To view all the colonies from Doug and Arnold's trip, see here.
The Sociable Weaver is expected to expand its range as climate change results in the arid region in southern Africa becoming larger (see also Most southerly colony). You can contribute to tracking the changes in the weaver's breeding range. Every time you travel into the range of the Sociable Weaver, record the first colony you find and submit to PHOWN. To see all current Sociable Weaver records, and its range, see species summary.