Southern Masked Weaver survey in Pretoria2012-12-07 (304)
Over the last three months Pieter Cronje has searched for as many Southern Masked Weaver colonies in eastern Pretoria as possible and submitted the records to PHOWN. This must be the most intensive survey for this species to date, so well done Pieter!
He submitted 107 records in October, 273 in November, and 44 in December for this species in Gauteng. This data set gave an average colony size of 3.1 nests, range 1-21 (n=424 colonies).
Pieter noted the following about his survey: "Amazing to see that they mostly nest in Fever trees which are not endemic to the region. Especially in new security complexes where every second house has a fever tree. In the older areas they normally nest in Acacia, especially Acacia caffra and monkey thorn trees."
In urban areas, the Southern Masked Weaver often has small colonies with single males, and these colonies are relatively evenly dispersed. Typically each suburban garden has 1 colony with 1 male, but of course there are many exceptions. Pieter's data illustrates the small colony sizes very well. In rural areas, colonies may be much larger and contain several males.
Pieter has also submitted PHOWN records from East and West Africa. See all Pieter's records here.