Weaver news

Sparrow-weavers at Barberspan

2011-03-03 (100)

T. Farkas (1966. The birds of Barberspan. Ostrich Suppl. 6:463-491) counted 24 White-browed Sparrow-weaver nests at Barberspan in 1963 – 1964. Peter Turner counted c. 20 nests in a couple of acacias on 25 July 1964 (Nest Record Cards 780.068 and 780.071); two nests contained eggs. There were no further nest counts at Barberspan until March 2010 during a SAFRING ringing workshop.

In March 2010 there were 51 nests in three colonies - two colonies may be viewed in PHOWN and the third colony was in the campsite and had 5 nests. This suggests an increase in the population but doesn't show how the population changed over time. SAFRINGs ringing records were extracted (red line in Fig. at right) but ringing at the office and camp area was too sporadic to draw firm conclusions. In recent years retraps (green line in Fig.) have been submitted more frequently and this could allow survival to be estimated.

There is an atlasing and ringing workshop at Barberspan from 9-16 March 2011, and there will be ringing and PHOWNing to compare the current population with last year.