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797, Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus (see species summary here)
Record status ACCEPTED Vm 1588 [on-line data upload (2011-11-29): 10872] Species Village Weaver Observer(s) Zaloumis, Alex Country, town, locus South Africa, Limpopo, Hoedspruit,
Locality Tim Otto dam Latitude, longitude -24.402663888889, 30.810966666667 [0 m accuracy] Date 2011/11/4 Notes Village weaver colony (241 av nests - many more on ground) continually plundered by gymnogene, fish eagle, yellow bill kite and other smaller raptors - still to be identified. eggs - white & speckled white. Blue & speckled blue.
Nest count 241 Nest site tree
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History of repeat colony counts
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vm Species code Date Nests Notes 1588 797 4/11/2011 241 Village weaver colony (241 av nests - many more on ground) continually plundered by gymnogene, fish eagle, yellow bill kite and other smaller raptors - still to be identified. eggs - white & speckled white. Blue & speckled blue.
2889 792 12/9/2012 0 about 110 nests completed new, old and in construction. Few females. Many, probably 40 to 50 males - frantic activity. No old/broken eggs and few nests on ground. At least 4 'different' but older nests with tunnels [Lesser Masked]. See weavers in them with female in attendance. Overall about half nests were green or being constructed. Klaas cuckoo calling nearby.
[mixed colony - see next VM]
2956 797 18/9/2012 100 benchmark pics taken for repeat visit study. active colony last counted at about 100 plus. 3120 797 2/10/2012 173 Tim Otto big dam - fever tree colony. Females collecting lining for nests. Many weavers eating from neighbouring fig trees & being fed by homeowner. New nest count now 173 (up from 110, then 100)
7 full, old & partial on the ground. no egg shells. Most birds still flying away after sunset - heading South. Cut throat finches. Flight of Mynas landed in nesting trees then headed south. surrounding reed beds stripped. tree leaves around nests being cleared. 3129 791 3/10/2012 2 whilst recounting the nests at this 'tim otto dam' site, again, i noticed 2 completely different nests, midway down in the righthand tree- these look like spectacled weavers - right shape & right material. I have seen one at the reed beds yesterday but failed to get a photo. there are others along the river but not found their nests - yet. this could be the first nest.
watching & examining the birds for 3 hours i noticed village weavers
only - besides cut throat finches. Have not seen any LMweavers - yet.
also, 1. seen much mating (v quick)
2. there are 10x as many males as females
3. few females collecting reed inflorescences for lining nests. still no egg shells below.
Village weavers now enjoying natal Mahogany flowers.
3475 797 21/10/2012 0 Nests present. These weavers are fed from 2 houses in the vicinity. Village weavers from Otto dam feeding on ground and from flowering or budding trees - mostly early morning or late afternoon - often with cut throat finch, drongo, bh bulbul & hoopoe. Ants and cricket seen to be eaten. All birds flock to flowering trees such as false mahogany, sausage tree, also marula leaf buds and fig fruit. still see female flocks flying around 3719 797 28/10/2012 222 nest count 222 av. old & new plus 14 on ground.
Speckled blue egg shells found below.(no white, speckled white or plain blue). Note: colony under siege by yellow bill kites, gymnogene, falcon, crows and storm wind damage. Diederick cuckoos being chased around nests continually. Leaves stripped from surrounding branches.
3723 797 30/10/2012 0 2 egg shells found under colony 4524 797 14/12/2012 195 revisited Vm 3723/3719/3475. Nest count - 195 av plus 8 new rings and many nests on ground -
reported 222 and count has exceeded 260 in last few months (not reported). Colony very quiet - not more than 25 males visible. Very little overt
activity - thought initially that birds were all brooding or feeding chicks. No usual cuckoo chorus, single males flying off/returning alone (ie not flocking) - seeing very few females but noted a couple of (grey) juvenile village weavers about (one stripping reeds for nest building). Trees have regrown their leaves. Birds now nesting deeper in the middle or in lower tree. Discussed with Lady who feeds them - confirms very few birds coming to feed. No big storms recently. Yellow bill kites & fish eagle still cruising the area, as are steppe, jackal and forest buzzards (attracted by haymaking). Will return to check evening concentrations and flocking etc. 6992 797 16/8/2013 6 6 new nests, west facing on North/left/closest side trees.
Comment: Village weavers had arrived 3 weeks ago. Mostly males,
between 11 & 13 very active chasing each other around and new nests
appeared last week. Broken green nests is sign of gymnogene attack.
Note, nest has already got inner lining. Only 2 to 3 females seen.
Birds active in other fever trees nearby but not building. Not
sleeping in colony. Weavers eating/sipping nearby sausage tree
flowers in full bloom.
nests: 6 green - old not counted.
7042 797 25/8/2013 0 Pictures taken 100m from Otto nest colony at local
neighbours feeding station. Flock of about 45-50 birds now, mostly 'moulted' males (37) seen at feeding station for last week. Fever trees still have thick foilage so hard to count nests, but nesting now in 2 trees. Birds spending considerable time in reed beds and above feeding station - rather than in nesting colony. Not sleeping overnight in nest colony. 7306 797 21/10/2013 177 Vm 1588 revisited. Old colony mentioned in Vm 1588 was spread amongst 6 fever trees, on dam wall, concentrated on North side. Last 2 weeks this colony has spread to 2 more trees 20m away on north side & into reed beds below. 2x new trees with 19 & 44 nests. Old site has 114 nests over 4 trees, excluding old dark ones) many new nests on ground show signs of continual attack from crows, kites and probably gymnogenes. Klaas cuckoos calling. 1st rains this season - some light rain falling continually for 24hrs. Nests: 19, 44, & 114 = total of 177 7460 797 6/11/2013 0 Main nesting tree, N facing, fell 30th Oct. during storm.
see Vm 4524, 6992, 7042, 7306
1. this is 2nd tree of this colony that has fallen in 3 years. Both were the most used trees.
2. last rough count 2 weeks previously recorded about 86 nests.
3. Told that weavers continued to feed their young even though tree had fallen.
4. workers tied some fallen nests to another tree - females continued to feed nests even on ground.
5. I was away - only one nest still being fed 5 days later. Rest eaten, destroyed or abandoned as owner/workers cut up the tree.
6. Coincidental that this colony had already started to nest on 2 new nearby trees. (24 & 7 nests in new trees.) 7649 797 7/12/2013 85 Vm 7460 revisited. Colony is quiet, only 4 males seen in old colony at 16h00. New peripheral colony also quiet, yet many birds still coming to the 'feeding' & water provided by nearby household. Single diedericks calling.
nests: old colony 58
new tree a) 21 nests
new tree b) 6 nests
total 85 nests. 14403 797 30/11/2014 0 village weaver colony on large dam wall.
Comment: 20 to 25 male birds seen. After early start birds seemed to have stopped building although very active chasing each other around. Deiderick cuckoos & yellow bill kites frequent the trees but seems colony pretty dormant, waiting for rain. Late breeding - drought conditions this year.
Nests: not counted
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