Nest use papers

Weavers build amazing nests, with the result that these nests are often used by other birds and animals. Two recent papers provide more details.

Pygmy Falcon nestling from Sociable Weaver nest


Paper – Host specificity of the Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus: a review. (download here).

The Pygmy Falcon never builds its own nest, but roosts and breeds in the nests of weavers. Several species, including starlings, have been suggested as host species, but this paper shows that the southern population of Pygmy Falcon uses the nests of Sociable Weavers, and the East African population mostly uses the nests of White-headed Buffalo-Weavers, although the number of records is small.

Bark spider resting on Holub’s Golden Weaver nest


Short note – Bark spider Caerostris sp. resting on nest of Holub’s golden weaver Ploceus xanthops.

Various invertebrates shelter in old weaver nests, including many spider species. An unexpected spider species, however, was found resting on an old nest of Holub’s Golden Weaver. The spider was a bark spider which until now was thought to only rest on the bark of trees where it is well camouflaged. Two spiders were found on one nest, being so well camouflaged that they were only seen when the nest was touched.

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.