Weaver news

PHOWN repeats of Namibian Masked Weaver colony

2012-08-16 (255)

Sitting on a farm stoep at around 7am, having a smoke for about 15 minutes, allowed Dorine Jansen to observe a Southern Masked Weaver colony in northern Namibia for nearly 3 months. Dorine sent regular updates to family and friends about the happenings in the colony in 2006. When she found out about PHOWN she found her notes and was able to extract a history of the colony.

The first nest was built on 13 October in a Jacaranda tree in front of the guestroom. A maximum of 10 nests was reached in late December, by which stage 5 males were present in the colony. Several nests were recorded with chicks being fed. In December Dorine noted a "Black and white tailed cuckoo". Not being a birder at the time, she cannot now remember what the bird looked like but it probably refers to a Diederik Cuckoo, which is a brood parasite of weavers. In mid January 2007 a nest was found on the ground with a Diederik Cuckoo chick inside; the nest attachment had been pecked off. The chick was raised by the farmers.

Birders with a weaver colony near their homes or work can contribute to the knowledge of variation in colony size by submitting regular PHOWN records with nest counts!

Photo: Dorine took photos of the colony in mid November, see colony - a table at the bottom shows the notes and nest counts (counts not always available).