White-browed Sparrow-weavers in Kruger

White-browed Sparrow-weaver on the S39
© Ard van de Wetering
Photo hosted at rarebirdnews

A White-browed Sparrow-weaver was seen 20 km south of the Timbavati picnic site along the S39 in the Kruger National Park on Saturday, 6 July 2019 (source: rarebirdnews).

Previous records

White-browed Sparrow-weaver
White-browed Sparrow-weaver


This species is expanding its range eastwards into Kruger. A paper in 2016 summarised records until then. Oschadleus HD. 2016. The White-browed Sparrow-weaver in the Lowveld. Hornbill 120:25-26.


There are increasing records of the White-browed Sparrow-weaver in the Kruger National Park and adjacent areas in the Lowveld in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. This is most likely due to bush encroachment.


The White-browed Sparrow-weaver was recorded up to the edge of the escarpment by 1985. Based on records from Lydenburg, the White-browed Sparrow-weaver was becoming more common, and breeding, on the edge of the escarpment around 1990. The first record of crossing the escarpment was of a bird seen in Kruger NP in 1984. There were several literature and SABAP2 records from 1991 onwards in Kruger, and scattered annual records from 2009. There has been one case of nest building in Kruger, as recently as 2010. The records from Kruger are spread through the year with most months having 2 or close to 2 records, but January has the most records (n=7).


Please keep a look out for White-browed Sparrow-weavers in the Lowveld to monitor the spread of this species! If you find nests, please submit records of nests to PHOWN, PHOtos of Weaver Nests, by uploading photos to Virtual Museum (read the “How to” pdf for help).


Map of the Kruger National Park and surrounding areas with White-browed Sparrow-weaver records based on SABAP1 (large green grids), SABAP2 (small blue grids), PHOWN (markers with letter P) and literature records (markers with letter L). Escarpment marked with a grey blob.

Map of records of the White-browed Sparrow-weaver
Dieter is a qualified Bird Ringer and trainer, registered bird guide, and Weaver expert. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.