Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus) nest building, Botswana

- Image ID: H8JJRD
Tim Plowden / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: H8JJRD
Weavers are commonly found in Asia and Africa and any time spent observing their nesting behaviour will impress. Their nest-building prowess is arguably second to none. Flexible materials are their choice when shaping their nests. The weaver’s gregarious nature will see several nests being built in close proximity within the same sturdy tree. The Southern Masked Weaver (aka African Masked Weaver) is one of the “True” weavers - a virtuoso architect of woven nests. A resident of Southern Africa, their mating season (September – January) sees male weavers, coloured in bright yellow plumage, hard at work intricately putting together a nest to impress a potential mate. The painstaking building is completed in stages: beginning with a sturdy ringed foundation, roof, required chambers and finishing off with an entrance. Their choice of materials are weed, palm and grass - all skilfully coiled, looped and woven systematically to create a tidy, tight-fitting, waterproof mesh ready for a female’s approval. Nest weaving is a complex process. Each nest takes approximately 9-14 hours to complete. The task of nest building is undertaken solely by the male.
Location: Botswana, Africa