Weaver news

Gabar Goshawk attack on weavers

2010-01-15 (41)

"Camping for a weeks in Maun, Botswana, November 2009, in a Mopane forest, my closest neighbours, 50 cm above my roof tent, were 3 inhabited nests with Red-headed Weavers (Anaplectes rubriceps). Other neighbours nearby were a colony of at least 50 breeding pairs of Red-billed Buffalo-Weavers (Bubalornis niger), 2 pairs of Lilac-breasted Rollers (Coracias caudatus) and at least 2 pairs of Broad-billed Rollers (Eurystomus glaucurus).
Late afternoon, the 3rd day, the Red-headed Weaver nests were attacked by 2 Gabar Goshawks (Melierax gabar), a smallish grey morph male and a dark black, almost double-sized, female. The Red-headed Weaver adults were silent and stayed at home, while the 2 birds of prey hung on the nests tearing them apart. However, to the rescue of the small weavers, came the much larger Red-billed buffalo Weavers, as well as the 2 roller species, birds that were continuously fighting over nest holes and territories the previous and coming days. This massive defence force proved to be too much for the goshawks, taking to the wings, not attempting more attacks."

Dag Gjerstad, Cape Town, 15/01/2010
Source: AfricanBirding listserver

[published in Gabar 21:68, 2010].