Here are some more of the weaver
birds I mentioned before. There are 16 to 20 weaver species and they all
live in some sort of interesting communal nests. The ones here are Lesser
Masked Weavers. They nest in large colonies with lots of hanging nests in
the same tree.
The males build the nests all by
themselves and it's wonderful to see. They bring special grasses, often
some distance, and start an arc which they hold together with their feet and
then they pull the ends together and weave in a strand to hold it together
forming a circle. They fly back for each new blade of grass to weave
in. The bird on the right is holding a blade which he has clipped off with
his bill at just the right length. Ever try weaving with just your
It's hard to photo them because of
the light sky behind them causing the silhouette effect.
The males add to the nest making a
ball and then an entrance which hangs down, making it difficult for predators to
When they are finished it's sort of like
an upside down gourd. They can build one in less than a day.
Then they advertise the new 'house for
rent to attractive female' by hanging upside down from the entrance by one foot
and flapping their wings to attract females. Apparently the females know
that the best flappers also build the best nests and will produce good young
Here comes one now! Dangle, dangle, flap, flap!
If she thinks his display is good enough,
she will inspect the nest. If she likes the nest, then,
wonderful! They will be a couple and move in. If she doesn't,
she may just ignore him and move on or she may tear it up! Either way, the
male will begin again and build a whole new one. This seemed to be a happy
couple--she went in and out several times and leave or shred