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BOOKS: The Atlas of Southern African Birds

2012-09-24 (269)

Harrison JA, Allan DG, Underhill LG, Herremans M, Tree AJ, Parker V, Brown CJ (eds). 1997. The Atlas of Southern African Birds. Volume 1: Non-passerines, and Volume 2: Passerines. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg

This atlas contains the most up-to-date information on the distribution of birds in southern Africa, and probably all bird field guides for the region use maps based on these atlas maps. Figure (below): The dustjackets of the Atlas feature the Blue Crane and Red-backed Shrike.

Volume 1 (c. 900 pages) contains the introductory chapters and the non-passerine texts. The introductory chapters describe the methodology, and the `avi'-geography of southern Africa. This chapter iinclues selected habitat photographs that represent the wide diversity of habitat types in southern Africa. Volume 2 (c. 700 pages) contains the passerine texts. 500 species receive two (or sometimes three) pages of texts, maps and seasonality figures; 200 species are covered with map and text on a single page. For each species, statistics provide a convenient summary of the data and a measure of the relative abundance within the range. For 200 vagrant species there is no map, but a paragraph of text giving details of occurrence in the region.

SABAP1 notes and links to pdfs of the introduction, geography and references - see here .
ADU notes on SABAP1 book - see here.

25 weaver species are covered in the main text. Most of these have two pages per species, but the Chestnut Weaver, Red-headed Quelea, Black-winged Bishop and Yellow-backed Widow have one page; the Red-billed Quelea has three pages. Two weavers are given a paragraph of text in the vagrants section: Olive-headed Weaver and Cardinal Quelea.

The weaver texts with maps and figures may be downloaded here as pdfs (all species texts are available at ADU SABAP2 web - click on a species, or search for one, and the pdf link is on the side menu).

The weaver pdfs may be downloaded here (some English names have been updated here):
Atlas pdf filesSpecies pages
798 Red-billed Buffalo Weaver Bubalornis niger
799 White-browed Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser mahali
800 Sociable Weaver Philetairus socius
806 Scaly-feathered Finch Sporopipes squamifrons
807 Thick-billed Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons
808 Dark-backed Weaver Ploceus bicolor
809 Olive-headed Weaver Ploceus olivaceiceps
810 Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis
811 Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus
812 Chestnut Weaver Ploceus rubiginosus
813 Cape Weaver Ploceus capensis
814 Southern Masked Weaver Ploceus velatus
815 Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius
816 Large Golden Weaver Ploceus xanthops
817 Eastern Golden Weaver Ploceus subaureus
818 Southern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus xanthopterus
819 Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps
821 Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
822 Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops
823 Cardinal Quelea Quelea cardinalis
824 Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
825 Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus
826 Yellow-crowned Bishop Euplectes afer
827 Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
828 Fan-tailed Widow Euplectes axillaris
829 White-winged Widow Euplectes albonotatus
830 Yellow-backed Widow Euplectes macrourus
831 Red-collared Widow Euplectes ardens
832 Long-tailed Widow Euplectes progne

The distribution of South African birds is being updated by the SABAP2 project. The weavers with the greatest changes in distribution between the two Atlas projects are the Red-billed Quelea (see a href="newstable.php?id=210">here) and Thick-billed Weaver (see a href="newstable.php?id=104">here).

Read more about African bird atlasses.

Literature as featured in Weaver Watch news items