Survey uncovers Grauer’s Swamp-warbler nest
Recent surveys of Africa’s Albertine Rift Valley have shed new light on Grauer’s Swamp-warbler Bradypterus graueri, a particularly vocal Endangered bird that occurs nowhere else on Earth.
In the past, adult swamp-warblers have been recorded throughout the Rift Valley, in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.
Yet breeding and nesting behaviour –two vital facets of information for conservationists working to save the species- remained largely unknown, until now.
“During our routine surveys of the Kabatwa Swamp in the Volcanoes National Park [in Rwanda], we came across a small cup-shaped nest perched in foliage 35cm from the ground.
The nest was built from Poa leptocrada and other sedges.
To our surprise there were two chicks sitting in the nest,” said Claudien Nsabagasani, Ornithological Researcher with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) and IBA Focal Point for Association pour la Conservation de la Nature au Rwanda, ACNR (BirdLife in Rwanda).
“We revisited the Swamp-warbler nest daily from then on to acquire information on nesting and feeding behaviour before the chicks fledged a week later.”
The photos of the warbler nest are Rwanda’s first, shedding important light on the reproductive ecology of the species.
The surveyors, supported by funding from RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and DFGFI, had been monitoring Grauer’s Swamp-warbler over four seasons, starting in July 2006, in the Volcanoes National Park, an Important Bird Area (IBA).
“With threatened species, every nest counts,” said Paul Kariuki Ndang’ang’a, the Species Programme Manager at BirdLife Africa Partnership Secretariat.
Birding in Rwanda: here.
An Endangered Grauer’s Swamp Warbler Bradypterus graueri – so far found in the restricted range of swamps of Burundi, Rwanda and eastern part of DRC – was recently mistnetted at one of valley swamps of Kibira National Park called Mwokora. The bird was caught during a field work as part of the BirdLife International/MacArthur Foundation project: here.