Village Weavers (Ploceus cucullatus)

Virtually all Weaver birds nest in colonies.  Just as individual as species nests are, Weaver colonies also take different forms.  Most species prefer separate nests with some space in between but others are not so fussy and locate their nests on most any suitable branch.  Yet other Weaver bird species nest so close together that the individual nests merge together and form large colonies like an avian apartment complex.  Some colony nests are tent-sized, comprised of dozens or even hundreds of merged nests.

Whatever form of nest the Weaver birds build, the aim is to keep predators such as snakes, lizards or larger birds out.  The Cape cobra (Naja nivea), in particular is a specialist predator of Weaver bird colonies.  Social Weavers (Philetairus socius) build huge nests, which are the most complex of all avian structures.  Sparrow–like in size and appearance, individual Social Weaver birds join forces and weave a grass roof in the branches of a tree.  From the roof structure they then weave vertical tunnels upward that widen into chambers just under the roof.  Trees festooned with Weaver nests are found in Africa, wherever you look, in parks and reserves with dry brush or savanna.

Village Weavers (Ploceus cucullatus)

Weaver Nests


Copyright © 2011, Susie Christian