Weaver news

Cape Weaver survey on Robben Island, 2-4 Oct 2015

2015-10-13 (673)

Barry, Dane and Andile
Cape Weavers breed on Robben Island and a team (Barry Schultz, Dane Paijmans and myself) spent a weekend on the island to survey as many colonies as possible as well as to do some ringing. Robben Island intern Andile joined us for the weekend to help.


The last time I did some mist netting on Robben was in 2006! We set up nets at 2 colonies, one on Saturday morning and one on Sunday morning. 24 Cape Weavers were caught which included 1 recapture. Female CV43038 had been ringed 5 years earlier on 14/01/2010 at Intaka, not a bad place for weavers but this female seems to have wanted a change. She had a brood patch, so she was incubating eggs in the 'Penguin' weaver colony.
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Caspian Tern chick

In addition, the following were ringed: 1 Caspian Tern chick, 2 Rock Pigeons (adults caught by hand by Dane in deserted buildings!), 1 Red-eyed Dove, 1 Common Fiscal, and 1 European Starling.

Weaver colonies

44 colonies were found with a total of 499 nests. The average colony size was 11.6 nests, with a range of 1 nest to 69 nests in the 'Penguin' weaver colony. These colonies have been uploaded to PHOWN. All colonies were in exotic trees, either gum or pine trees.

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'Penguin' colony
More nests and colonies were counted than on previous trips due to having more time and more helpers; we don't think we missed many colonies (and certainly not any large colonies) on this weekend. Most colonies were active, with egg shells lying below the colonies and chicks calling in the nests.

Read the previous survey on Robben here.

Thanks to the Robben Island Museum for being able to undertake this survey!