sociable weaver nest construction
The sociable weaver nest keeps the extended family cool on hot summer days and warm on cold winter nights. The sociable weaver birds are one of the rare birds that keep working on the nests all year long and over generations of birds. Over the years, the birds’ droppings enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, resulting in the tree growing more leaves (which giraffes eat) and providing more shade (which antelopes use in the heat of the summer) than trees without weaver nests. The gigantic nests built by sociable weaver birds in camelthorn trees ... he and his designer and artist friend Porky Hefer visited a spot nearby the site of The Nest, ... they’d have to go it alone. The sociable weaver’s nests do a great job of protecting the bird colony from big birds and predators. And haystacks on the telephone and electric poles. So they forged on, gradually assembling a construction team and recruiting craftsmen and artisans. Thomson suggests that the effort and ingenuity that birds put into their nests have value for many other creatures, and ornithologists should pay more attention to them as engineers. Most birds abandon their nest once the babies are grown up and start new nests every year. To our surprise, we found that these structures are built by little sparrow-like birds that live in the arid and semi-arid regions of Namibia and South Africa. The sociable weavers protect themselves by make deafening shill noises when danger approaches. We saw a large number of nests during our horseback safari in Victoria falls and on our drives in Namibia. With the fully covered top area, the large birds can’t get to the nests and the babies. These little birds know how to conserve resources in the arid desert and maximize their lifespan. For the first two years of their life, young sociable weaver birds do all the house chores like bringing food and twigs; building and cleaning the nest and caring for the babies. Sociable weaver males cooperated at a higher level than females, with measures of cooperation being consistent over time. Notice the cacophony of noises they made when we moved under the nest. Sometimes the nest becomes so heavy that the entire tree collapses under its weight. Africa, Blog Post, Destinations, Namibia, South Africa, Story, Wildlife. Maybe on bushy trees but how do they get stuck on poles? Sociable weaver birds survive and thrive in the desert because of their lifestyle and ingenious. Available for everyone, We got curious so we started asking around and investigating the structures. So, the sociable weaver birds like to build on telephone poles or trees with few branches. As we researched more, it got more and more interesting. So they forged on alone, gradually assembling a construction team and recruiting craftsmen and artisans. The interlopers include barbets, tits, lovebirds, finches, and the Pygmy Falcon, which sometimes eats skinks (which themselves are up to 3x more abundant on trees with weaver nests). Without branches to crawl over its harder for predators to sneak into the nest. Sociable Weaver Nest’s Construction. Here is a short video of a sociable weaver nest and the busy birds. The large nest’s structure is supported strong wooden beams, filled with smaller branches and twigs to keep the structure together. Even cheetahs climb into the trees to sprawl over the domed roof of the nest and soak up the sun. The sociable weavers help their neighbors with food, childcare and house chores – as good human neighbors do in tight communities. The Eagles and big birds perched on the sociable weaver nest make noises with approaching predators and warn the sociable weaver birds inside the nest. The close proximity generates warmth, so they need very little food in to survive the cold winter months. Their secret to such a long life is a conservation-oriented lifestyle. Here in North America, the clearest examples are the woodpeckers that provide homes for all manner of bluebirds, swallows, chickadees, flying squirrels—but we should be on the lookout for others. Some predators take over the sociable weaver nest and make it their own home. They can also attack predators in large numbers to protect their nest. The family chamber is quite comfortable because it’s lined with twigs, cotton balls, and feathers. Their main predators include snakes and small mammals. Read more highlights from the conference. They need very little food and they don’t start breeding until they are two years old. The chambers are then created with independent entrances. The nests can be easily spotted all long roads in arid and semi-arid parts of Namibia and South Africa. It was a mammoth task: it took a year alone to weld the rebar frame that forms the structure. Cobras can wipe out a whole nest filled with eggs in one big sweep. Sociable weaver birds keep expanding the nests so they become enormous. An unusual structure in Canada – Wildlife crossings in Banff, Barcelona, Blog Post, Destinations, Europe, Gallery by Continent, Gallery Europe, Spain, Story, Barcelona, Blog Post, Destinations, Europe, Featured, Spain, Destinations, Gallery by Continent, Gallery North America, North America, United States, Wildlife, Wyoming, We got curious so we started asking around and investigating the structures. Once sociable weavers start having babies, they have lots of them and that’s pretty much all they do. From the top, the nest appears to have a heavy blanket of straws with no holes for entrance. P icture of a sociable weaver nest structure from underneath Also, thanks Robert for sharing the information that sociable weavers are restricted to the Kalahari and Namib desert. We first came across a haystack like structure on a tree in Kruger national park on Sunset Lake and did know what to make of it. These nests are perhaps the most spectacular structure built by any bird. Th e nests vary greatly in size with the largest F igure 1. In Africa’s Kalahari Desert, sparrow-sized birds called Sociable Weavers create enormous nesting structures that act like avian apartment complexes, housing weaver families by the hundreds. Indeed, other studies of sociable weaver nest construction suggest that a minority of birds never invest in thatch construction . funded by donors like you. Nest construction in weavers usually begins with the male instigating the activity and the mate adding the finishing touches. However, large birds commonly rest on top of the huge sociable weaver nests. The weaverbirds can be found in many parts of Africa. The nests themselves do an amazing job of staying cool in summer and warm in winter, which may be why a half-dozen other bird species vie for unoccupied nest chambers. It turns out that the odd structures we saw in Kruger’s Sunset lake is in fact made by Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver. The sociable weaver (Philetairus socius) is a species of bird in the weaver family that is endemic to southern Africa.
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