Social spiders and sparrow-weavers2013-12-20 (464)
The White-browed Sparrow-Weaver is becoming a common bird in Nairobi, Kenya, and to date 99 PHOWN records have been submitted for this species from Nairobi. Of these records, 5 records noted small spiders and their webs near or over the weaver nests. The small number of records of spider webs and weaver nests suggests that the association may be fortuitous, but even so it raises interesting questions. For example, do the spiders cause the weavers to leave or are the spiders only able to colonise a tree where the sparrow-weavers have already left? In one case, there was a relatively small spider web near a weaver nest, and the weaver colony was still active (PHOWN 2409), while in other cases the spider webs were extensive but it is not known if weavers were present.
View all the spider-weaver records here.
The spiders are probably social spiders but this group includes many families. More records are needed, the spiders need to be identified, and observations on these associations are needed!