Weaver Bird

August 6, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

[photo by David Cloud]

The weaver bird (genus Ploceus) is a type of thrush that weaves an elaborate nest. There are dozens of varieties of weavers, but here we will focus on the Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus), native to Africa.

The male, a beautiful bird with bright yellow feathers and a black head and beak, builds about 25 nests each season (September to January) from reeds, grass, and twigs. He is capable of tying complex knots such as the half-hitch, overhand, and slipknot. The globe-shaped nest has an entrance hole near the bottom.

He builds the nest with an eye on attracting a finicky female of the species. If she doesn’t like the nest, he will tear it down and build a new one. When a female finally approves his nest, she lines it with soft grass and feathers in preparation for laying the eggs. Some weavers are monogamous, but the Southern Masked Weaver seeks to attract a harem of females.

The eggs are of various colors and markings. This assists the weavers against invasion by cuckoos, which lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. Eggs of the wrong color are ejected by the nest owners.


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