PHOWN Newsletter 3, 28 Feb 2012

photo The last official PHOWN newsletter was a year ago! One of the most exciting developments over the last year was receiving funding for WRAP (Weaver Research in Africa Project) - a large component of WRAP is to expand PHOWN participation. The funding was provided by PERC (Project for the Enhancement of Research Capacity) from the University of Cape Town. A successful launch was held in Cape Town recently - read more here.

PHOWN priorities
All PHOWN records are valuable and, in fact, soon I will be able to start analysing spatial variation in colony sizes of Southern Masked Weavers, the species with the most PHOWN records (over 600 records with nest counts). Several species have a particular interest and I listed these under a news item entitled PHOWN priorities . Over the next weeks and months I will be adding new web pages that give automatic feedback on these (and other) priorities. Currently the average colony size for Thick-billed Weavers is larger in the expanding range outside Gauteng than it is in the core Gauteng range. This is based on very few records, however, so many more new records are needed.

Feeling bored?
Many weavers have stopped breeding in southern Africa, but you can still do the following.
1. Records for Sociable Weavers and White-browed Sparrow-weavers can be added any time of year as the birds remain near their nests.
2. Keep a look out for other bird species using old weaver nests, e.g. Red-headed Finches usually use old weaver nests rather than building their own. Any records of other birds using weaver nests can be submitted to PHOWN (with appropriate notes about the host species, and if possible the weaver species that built the nest). These records show the ecological value of weaver nests.
3. Submit any outstanding PHOWN records!
4. Travel to somewhere else in Africa, southern Asia or the Indian Ocean islands to find breeding weavers!

Below are some links to some interesting headline news stories over the last year - click on anyone to read the news item on the web. photo
Exciting PHOWN records
Ethiopia dials in to PHOWN
Most southerly Sociable Weaver colony ( Sociable Weaver )
PHOWN firsts from Ghana ( Vieillot's Black Weaver )
The next PHOWN call: repeats! ( Cape Weaver )
PAPER: Largest Red-headed Weaver colony ( Red-headed Weaver )
PHOWN Photo of the week ( Sociable Weaver )
Ugandan PHOWN records ( Little Weaver )
Taveta Golden Weaver
Golden Palm-Weaver Ploceus bojeri ( Golden Palm Weaver )
First PHOWN record from Swaziland ( Village Weaver )
First Tanganyika Masked Weaver PHOWN record ( Tanganyika Masked Weaver )
48th PHOWN species ( Kilombero Weaver )

There is now a Weavers facebook page for those who enjoy Facebook.

Thanks for your participation! Continue to send in records and visit Weavers homepage regularly for news updates (at least weekly).

Weavers webpage
Email: weavers4africa [at]