Lesser Masked Weaver ranging southwards2013-11-29 (454)
Lesser Masked Weavers have been ringed in small numbers at Barberspan, North West Province, South Africa, over the last few years, and again today. Compared to many other weaver species, the Lesser Masked Weaver has a narrow bill (from top to bottom).
This species is unobtrusive, especially away from its breeding colonies. The birds are more easily recorded here by finding them in a mistnet than by field observation. There are no records in SABAP1 and SABAP2 for this species in North West Province south of 26S, and even close to 26S the species is fairly uncommon. Thus these ringing records show a considerable range expansion southwards in the interior of South Africa. This year has been very dry in North West Province, suggesting that the weavers are dispersing further than normal to find food.