Weaver news

Severe storm - to survive or not

2012-08-18 (256)

There are several weaver colonies that I monitor on a regular basis to see how the colony sizes change (see repeats. On 11 August a severe cold front hit Cape Town, with much rain and strong winds. Several nests were destroyed, including some nests with eggs and chicks, and some examples are shown below. At the same time, many other nests survived, including nests with eggs and chicks.

At Langvlei there are several Cape Weaver colonies which I have known about since 2006. One colony was in a bush and the whole bush was found leaning into the water - the side where the nests had been was completely submerged and no nests were visible - see see photo left. To see what this colony looked like before the storm, see phown 2727 and scroll to the bottom of the web. The other colonies at Langvlei had similar number of nests before and after the storm, indicating that no nest twigs were broken off during the storm.

Cape and Southern Masked Weavers breed along the Ottery River. During the storm one Cape Weaver nest that had been low over the river had been blown into the water and the water kept it submerged - at least this was a non-breeding nest - see photo right and phown 2724. Three Southern Masked Weaver nests containing chicks survived. The twig with a Southern Masked Weaver nest partially broke, but the female is continuing to feed the chicks in the nest - see phown 2722.

Another Cape Weaver colony that I have observed since 2006 is in Rondevlei along Egrets Way. During the storm the twigs holding three nests broke off - two of these nests had contained eggs or chicks - the fallen nests were partially or fully submerged - see photo left and phown 2725. One nest was hanging intact but the chicks were missing, presumably they fell out during high winds.