Weaver news

PAPER: Nectar feeding in weavers

2014-03-17 (493)

Engelbrecht D, Grosel J, Engelbrecht D. 2014. Nectar-feeding by southern African birds, with special reference to the Mountain Aloe Aloe marlothii. Ornithological Observations 5: 49-74.

In this paper the authors collate a large number of records of nectar feeding in southern African birds, and provide many new records. They provide references, and focus on nectar feeding on the Mountain Aloe Aloe marlothii which is found from Gauteng to Mozambique and Malawi. The authors list 17 weavers as nectar feeders, and 13 of these as feeding on Aloe marlothii nectar.

The authors provide some interesting new records: Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver, White-browed Sparrow-weaver (with a photo), and Red-billed Quelea. These have not been documented as feeding on nectar previously.

The record of Chestnut Weavers feeding on nectar is an error, however (A Craig, pers. comm.). The record accidentally appeared in Birds of Africa and was repeated in Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 15. These references list the Chestnut Weaver as feeding on four Aloe species as , i.e. A. arborescens, A. candelabrum [=A. ferox], A. ferox, A. marlothii, but these do not occur in the range of the Chestnut Weaver.

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