White-browed Sparrow-Weaver and climate change2012-05-21 (219)
The White-browed Sparrow-Weaver has periodic incursions into the eastern parts of South Africa. The red grids in KwaZulu-Natal show records from SABAP1 of this species that were not repeated during SABAP2 - there are also published records from KwaZulu-Natal prior to SABAP1. Currently during SABAP2 there appear to be incursions by this species into southern Mpumalanga and southern and northern Kruger National Park, as shown by the blue grids (SABAP2 records but no SABAP1 records). The core range in the Free State is green, ie higher reporting rate during SABAP2. There is a lot of pink in the Northern Cape, indicating no SABAP2 cards yet. The eastern parts of South Africa may be too wet for this species, even where suitable habitat occurs, but climate change may result in the White-browed Sparrow-Weaver expanding its range.
In addition to monitoring this species by comparing atlas cards, breeding records are needed when the birds build nests at the edge of their range. The best way to record this is by submitting PHOWN records for this species from any part of its range to enable comparisons to be made.
PHOWN has over 150 records with nest counts for the White-browed Sparrow-Weaver. A summary may be viewed here.