Weaver news

Sociable Weaver survey in Namibia

2012-04-18 (208)

Another Sociable Weaver survey has been submitted to PHOWN, this time by Res Altwegg, while visiting a farm in southern Namibia over Easter. The map (right) shows most of the colonies surveyed by Res - to view all his records, see here.

Res wrote about the colonies as follows: "The colony sizes ranged from 4 to 180 nests. However, only two colonies are close to the farm house. I heard chicks in most of the colonies (but didn't keep careful notes of this, unfortunately). There were three more colonies that I didn't get to... But otherwise it is fairly complete and I hope to at least be able to re-count these colonies in the future."

Other Sociable Weaver surveys were conducted by Robert Thomson at Tsawlu Kalahari (see news) and Rita Covas at Benfontein farm, Kimberley (see news). Rita's sudies predate the start of PHOWN, and hence no photos are included.

Number of nest chambers per colony for 3 surveys (click on links to see all the records per study):

Study Min Mean Std Max n
S Namibia, Res 4 42.6 37.7 180 34
Tswalu, Robert 1 52.0 40.1 181 156
Benfontein, Rita (2005) 1 28.5 27.8 130 41

The colonies at Benfontein are the smallest (although inactive nest chambers were not counted in Rita's study).The Namibian colonies were smaller than the Tswalu colonies, possibly due to lower rainfall in S Namibia.

PHOWN is supported by Project for the Enhancement of Research Capacity (PERC, UCT)