Weaver news

PAPER: Birds on Robben Island since 2000

2011-11-29 (167)

Sherley RB, Dyer BM, Underhill LG, Leshoro TM. 2011. Birds occuring or breeding at Robben Island, South Africa, since 2000. Ornithological Observations 2: 69-100

Abstract. Robben Island, Western Cape, is an Important Bird Area because it provides breeding habitat for several threatened marine and coastal species. The island’s first comprehensive bird list was assembled in 2000, but since that time 21 new species have been recorded on the island and breeding has been confirmed for five species for the first time. This paper provides an updated list of all 164 species that have occurred on the island and notes on the status of the 129 species that have been seen since 1 January 2000.

Three weavers have been recorded on the island:

  • Cape Weaver, breeding resident, possibly increasing (see survey).
  • Southern Masked Weaver, 2 vagrant records
  • Red-billed Quelea, 1 record of small flock (included in paper of its irruption, see here.

The Southern Red Bishop was listed as a vagrant before 2000 (Crawford RJM, Dyer BM. 2000. Wildlife of Robben Island, Bright Continent Guide 1. Avian Demography Unit, Cape Town). The Yellow Bishop has not been recorded from Robben. There is an interesting record of a mole snake preying on a bird on Robben, presumed to be a Cape Weaver chick (Dyer BM. 1996. Predation by snakes on seabirds at three South African islands. South African Journal of Marine Science 17:309-313).

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