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Nick Tennick

Guest contributor

Nick has always loved the outdoors and never turns down an opportunity for an adventure. After finishing high school in Johannesburg, where he grew up, Nick spent a gap year in the Zimbabwean bushveld which truly sparked his love for wildlife and conservation ...

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on Weaving Wizardry

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We see these weavers building, destroying and building nests in urban areas. We watch in awe their ability to construct nests. And when I look at the birds Satchmo’s song ‘and I say to myself, what a wonderful world’ comes to mind.

Hi Babs, yes the weavers are not just found in the wild game reserves but in peoples gardens and parks in urban areas. That song is so fitting when marvelling at different bird species.

How interesting! I didn’t realise there were so many weavers species. They are attractive little birds with great abilities and tenacity indeed. I wonder if snakes are able to enter all types of nests, I watched a snake destroying a full colony in a film, so sad

Right! There are a total of 16 species of Weaver in Southern Africa alone, Francesca. The 8 I have mentioned above are just ones we see often at Londolozi.

Although it is never full proof, my understanding with the bottom entrance nest design, is that it is difficult for snakes to manoeuvre around the nest and then enter upwards to steal the eggs. The red-billed buffalo weaver and white browed sparrow weaver make use of thorny trees/branches when constructing their nests to prevent predation from snakes

Nick, thanks for this blog on the weaver birds of Londolozi. Birding is a hobby of mine and I really enjoyed the pictures and information about the weavers.

Thanks very much, William!

How do the eggs not fall out of the bottom tunnel nests? I think my fave is the White-Browed Sparrow Weaver 🙂

Thanks Anita. The tunnel entrance built onto the nest as well as the oval shape of the egg prevents them from falling out of the bottom entrance nests. The eggs get laid in the cup shaped base of the nest near the entrance.

Terrific, informative article Nick accompanied by really good images. I’ve always found these birds and their nest building skills fascinating. I remember sitting in awe at Phinda, next to a large bush by the water, watching a male weave his nest together, oftentimes removing twigs or grass as if the placement wasn’t perfect enough. It was my first sighting of this species and since then, I’m always on the lookout for them and their nests. I was especially impressed by the sociable weavers found in the Kalahari, the sheer size of their nests remarkable, whilst the din of their chirping was almost deafening. All in all they’re a fascinating bird species and worth time viewing on any safari.

Thank you, Denise. The patience in their nest building ability is what I find most remarkable. Thank you for your comment.

This year, I have finally been able to watch weavers build their nests. It is really fascinating what these birds can do with their beaks and feet. Birds in general are such interesting and amazing animals.
Thanks very much for this blog on the different kinds of weavers.

Thanks Christa! Im glad you got the opportunity to see their weaving ability in action. They truly are amazing animals.

Nick a fantastic blog and thank you for the illustrations of the different weavers. They are very intelligent and have a fine way of weaving the grass and palm leaves with their becks into a beautiful nest. The males are so proud of their nests and ladykadiva can come and inspect the nest. We have watched them closely and they really are spectacular birds.

Thank You, Valmai. Indeed, they are amazing birds.

Incredible feats of engineering. I had no idea about the variations in the nests and nest-building. Thank you!

Thank you, Vin.

Thank you for this well-written article with so many great pictures. I am more fascinated by weavers every time I visit. So many give birds less thought than the bigger creatures and they are missing much wonder.

Thank You, Linda ! You are spot on. Once you give the smaller creatures more attention, there is so much more to learn in the wilderness.

Just – WOW!!!

Thanks, Michael.

That is so interesting and informative! These little weavers literally blow my mind! I love watching them build their nests but had no idea until now the variety of types.

Hi Kara. indeed, the weavers nest building ability is incredible and I have only covered 8 species of weaver that are found specifically on Londolozi. There is a total of 16 species found in different habitats within Southern Africa.

I love the variation in each of the nest styles, and can even appreciate the weavers that don’t technically weave. Great supporting images!

Thank you, Chelsea. Each and every bird species has a unique way of breeding, nest building and rearing their young. They are all so interesting.

Nick, thanks for this interesting blog. What incredible nests these tiny souls make – really perfect. Some lovely pics also. You have some beautiful birds on the African continent.

Hi Leonie. Thanks for the comment. We are lucky to see so many wonderful birds in Southern Africa.

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