About the Author

Pete Thorpe

Field Guide

Right from his very first bush trip at the age of four, Pete was always enthralled by this environment. Having grown up in the Middle East, Pete’s home-away-from-home has always been a bungalow in the Greater Kruger National Park, where his family had ...

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40 Comments

on The Ingenious Defence Of A Tiny Bird

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Interesting blog Pete.

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

Pete, I loved all the photos, especially the tiny bird in the tree🤗

Dina Petridis
Senior Digital Ranger

good to know!

Karen Hart
Digital Ranger

Thank you for all the amazing information on these small birds. I love learning about species that are new to me.

Francesca Doria
Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks Pete, birds are ingenious nest builders and this little Blue Waxbill is a master! Also quite beautiful. Are snakes successful in catching them? I love the Natal Spurlfowl hen with chicks – such a hard work for her!

Nicole Bernhardt
Senior Digital Ranger

Interesting blog, thank you Pete

Barbara Wallace
Explorer

Really interesting! Thank you. Love this little bird.

Lisa Antell
Senior Digital Ranger

I have never heard of a bird species using wasp’s nests to protect them….this is really fascinating!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Fascinating facts, Pete! Thanks!

Irene Henkes
Senior Digital Ranger

Lovely blog, thank you. Years and years ago, we used to have blue waxbills in our aviary. First time I came to Africa, we saw them in the wild. After the birds we had then died, we took the aviary apart. They are so much nicer in the wild……

Jean Culbertson
Explorer

absolutely gorgeous!

Chelsea Allard
Senior Digital Ranger

Very interesting! The relationship to wasps was especially unexpected.

Linda Mansell
Explorer

Fascinating Peter, and lovely photos from you all. Thank you. Is that coexistence of the paper wasp and the blue waxbill something like the coexistence of the sociable weaver and the pygmy falcon in the northern cape?

Doug Hammerich
Senior Digital Ranger

What a beautiful litter bird! Thank you.

Kara Taylor
Digital Tracker

Such clever little birds!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Fascinating! We often become so caught up in viewing the larger game, we forget there are so many other things to see and learn their stories as well. Thank you for this reminder.

Leslie Kaye
Explorer

I was fascinated with the Blue Waxbill … beautiful and very clever little bird …I loved reading about their strategy to keep their young safe and where they put their nests and what they choose to build it with …and next to a wasp’s next!!!!! Brilliant. Amazing intelligence …wonder why some members of the animals kingdom do a much better job than others in protecting their young????? Is it just because that’s the way it is??? Thank you for this post.

Robyn North
Explorer

Nature never ceases to amaze. Thank you so much for sharing this extraordinary adaption to protect the next generation.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Pete , most appreciated is the write up and how you expertly enlightened on the nesting & defensive facets of the specie.Commensalism part was quite amusing.thank you for making us add another chapter to our birding skills

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Birds intelligence to a long way aids in their defensive adaptative behaviours as they seemingly know their immediate environs thus using them immaculately to stay safe from harm without using much energy.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

The relationship between paper wasps and blue waxbill exhibits the amazing networks and webs that exist in nature’s ecosystems.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Having precocial young is natures anti-predation mechanism which to a large extent has ensured some specie infant mortality rates are kept in check.camouflage too has done a lot to help counter predation of vulnerable species.powerful write up Pete,thanks so very much

Cally Staniland
Senior Digital Ranger

Fascinating Pete, just loved learning more about these beautiful birds. I’ve said it before but you guys are walking encyclopedia’s. Gosh I could spend months with you all and still only scratch the surface of your knowledge. Super reading🙏🏻💕

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Photography exhibited by team Londolozi is just so memorable & beautiful.bringing the african bush to our doorstep in colour

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Mystery hovers as to how the blue waxbill finds the perfect spot next to paper wasp nest sites? Personally lm rather anxious as to finding the catalyst to this partnership

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