Nature has created many a marvel that has inspired the world to learn and create masterpieces. One such marvel is the Weaver bird, as it is fondly known. It is the “Architect and Engineer” of the avian kingdom. Heat-shield mechanism, Lighting, stringent security checks and expert craftsmanship, whatever be the requirement for the nest they can engineer it.
These birds start building their Pendulous nests by end of summer and typically breed in monsoon time. The baya males acquire a distinctive yellow breeding plumage in this season.
Weaver birds’ nests look neat and well-finished, as if made by an expert craftsman, without straws sticking out. The nests have a definite design that includes a looped attachment to the branch, a roof, the egg chamber, antechamber and entrance tube. These birds build instinctively. Even one-and-half-year-old weaver birds can be spotted building fantastic gourd-shaped hanging nests. The nest entrance is strategically located at the base and turned downwards, to avoid entry of predators. The Baya weaver may also build a sunshade in the form of an overhanging projection or also use fireflies with mud for lighting. Showing incredible tenacity, Baya birds make hundreds of trips to get bits of plant fiber to create nests. They build the nests over a few weeks’ time, and the nests are quite sturdy and last a few seasons.
In the half-finished stage, when the nest looks like a tube with an open swollen pouch at its base, the male flaps its wings to catch the attention of passing females. If the female accepts the nest, the nest is completed by building the entrance tube. The nest turns is quite sturdy, about a centimeter thick in places. “It is waterproof too” . Studies have shown that nest location is more important than nest structure for the female decision making. A male finishes the nest to its completion only after finding a mate, after mating the female lays about 2 to 4 white eggs and incubates them. The females are solely responsible for incubating and bringing up the brood. After mating with a female the male goes on to woo more females with its other nests
Patience and observation of bird behavior is extremely important in bird photography. This photograph was at a field near a water body and almost 4 hours was spent in observing their behavior to “freeze the moment” .
A Bird with no engineering degree , but a perfect engineer. Enjoy Nature !