"Weavers for Africa" Conference, 26 Jan 2013


The Animal Demography Unit will be holding a one-day conference on weavers, sponsored by Project for the Enhancement of Research Capacity (PERC) (Programme for the Enhancement of Research Capacity), University of Cape Town

Anyone interested in weavers, the ADU Virtual Museums, or citizen science is welcome to attend!

Date: Saturday, 26 Jan 2013

Sociable Weaver Vieillot's Black Weaver Lesser Masked Weaver

The venue

Venue: Intaka Island, one of the top birding sites in Cape Town (Open 07h30 - 19h00)

Three weavers commonly breed at Intaka: Southern Masked Weaver, Cape Weaver, Southern Red Bishop (although only the Southern Masked Weaver is likely to be breeding in January at Intaka)

See all PHOWN records of weavers at Intaka here.

Bird hides and a high density of birds provide photographers ideal opportunities to take photos of birds. So much in fact that there is a facebook site dedicated to photos of birds (and other wildlife) taken at intaka - see here.

Scroll down here on the Intaka site for plant and bird lists: here.

The programme

Cape Weaver

The programme will include a variety of talks, field sessions, and workshop time. Provisionally, the formal programme will start at 9h00 and run until 15h00.
The draft programme is below (the sequence of talks may still change).

8.00 Arrive, wander around Intaka
9.00 Start of programme
Welcome and introduction to the conference & Virtual Museums - Les Underhill
Future Virtual Museum developments - Rene Navarro
Breeding biology of weavers - Dieter Oschadleus

The function of the nest of Sociable Weavers - Rene van Dijk
PHOtos of Weaver Nests - what can be learned? - Dieter Oschadleus
MammalMAP and the other Virtual Museums - Megan Loftie-Eaton
Weaver research - SESAW and more - Dieter Oschadleus
Weavers - the ornithological opportunity for Africa - Les Underhill
Virtual Museum upload tips & Discussion - Dieter Oschadleus

12.30 Lunch

Sunday, 27 Jan

The outing will be a bird ringing session at Intaka, from 6am to about 11 am. Arrive and leave anytime in the morning.
Bring your own refreshments and a folding chair if you want to sit while watching the ringing. Weather is expected to be warm to hot, and some wind.
More details will be provided at the conference.


Deadlines for registration:
by 7 Jan 2013 - to present a talk
by 14 Jan 2013 - early registration, includes free registration, entry and refreshments
until 25 Jan 2013 - late registration - entry fee (R10) and refreshments will be at own cost - please let me know that you are coming, however.

Please note: delegates are responsible for their own accommodation reservations
Lunch and tea will be provided for early registrants (delegates are responsible for their own breakfast and dinner)

Registration form

Download registration form (Word doc, 26 kB) here, fill in and email to weavers4africa [at] gmail.com

Yellow Bishop male Southern Masked Weaver Red-headed Weaver

Abstracts of talks

Rene van Dijk: The function of the nest of sociable weavers

Abstract. Structures built by animals, such as nests, mounds and burrows, are often the product of cooperative investment by more than one individual. Such structures may be viewed as a public good, since all individuals that occupy them share the benefits they provide. However, access to the benefits generated by the structure may vary among individuals and is likely to be an important determinant of social organisation. Here we use the massive, communal nests of sociable weavers, Philetairus socius, to investigate whether their thermoregulatory function varies in relation to the size of communal nests, and the position of individual nest chambers within the communal structure. We then examine whether this spatial variation in thermoregulatory function predicts the social organisation of colonies.


This map shows how to get to the parking area outside of Intaka Island, from the N1 south of Century City.

View Larger Map