Chestnut Weaver Ploceus rubiginosus biometrics and primary moult in Namibia

  • HD Oschadleus Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
  • T Osborne PO Box 22, Okaukuejo, Namibia


Seasonal variation in body mass and wing length, and the onset and duration of primary moult, were investigated for Chestnut Weavers from northern Namibia. Body mass of adult males was 31.2g (SD 2.6), and adult females weighed 27.4g (SD 1.9). Body mass declined from March to April, and started increasing after August (i.e. near the end of moult) in males and females. Wing length in adult males with new primaries (Oct–Feb) was 80.7mm (SD 2.7) and for adult females (Oct–Feb) 76.8mm (SD 2.6). For both sexes wing length declined during and after the breeding season, due to extensive feather wear. Adult males started primary moult significantly earlier than females (9 April vs 30 April) and moult lasted longer (206 days vs 189 days). The peak summer rainfall and the start of primary moult was earliest in 2000 and latest in 2004 for males and females. Individual primary feathers took 11–18 days to grow.

Ostrich 2005, 76(3&4): 206–211

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525