Weaver news

BOOK: Birds of Africa

2010-09-25 (77)

Sinclair I, Ryan P. 2010. Birds of Africa south of the Sahara. 2nd ed. Struik, Cape Town

The authors have revised the 2003 edition to include 500 new images and improved maps. The major change in the weaver species is the inclusion of splits: Ploceus velatus split into velatus and vitellinus, and Ploceus reichardi into reichardi, ruweti and katangae. The plates are similar in both editions but there are 18 plates in the 2010 edition compared to 16 in 2003: one additional; plate is due to the taxonomic splits, and the other due to spacing out the widowbirds. A few additional pictures show an additional race for the Thick-billed Weaver and one additional race for the Black Bishop; there is an additional head for Viellot's Black Weaver showing eye colour variation. A new feature in the 2010 edition is having key identification features listed on the plates.
The maps often show reduced ranges, not indicating range contractions but greater accuracy. A good example is the Red-billed Quelea where the 2003 edition showed it as occuring throughout the DRC whereas the new edition correctly shows it as occuring in the extreme south and north-east tips of the DRC. Range expansions are shown for the Rufous-tailed Weaver and Red-crowned Malimbe. Ranges in southern Africa are mostly identical in the two editions, being based on SABAP1, although the map for the Red-billed Quelea shows the recent range expansion into the Western Cape of South Africa.

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