Loops & Knots


Credit: Mohan Moolepetlu via Unsplash

Weavers, weaver birds, weaver finches and bishops are a species of small passerine birds that come under the Ploceidae family. These birds have stumped scientists with their unique ability to weave nests, and are aptly named because of this remarkable talent. Infact, these creative creatures are the only birds that can tie knots and weave such elaborate nests.

What’s so special about these nests?
? Male birds craft these sturdy nests with plant materials to attract the female birds. (She may disapprove and turn him down if the nest is not up-to her standards:)
? Sometimes a male take over 500 trips to make his perfect nest.
? A communal nest of the sociable weaver bird will house as many as 400 birds!
? Some of these nests can weigh more than a ton!

The chambers…
? What’s interesting is that these nests of some species are somewhat structured like a bee’s honeycomb.
? The nest may look like an ordinary bunch of haystack on the outside, but if you look on the inside, they’re a lot more intricate.
? You’ll even find entrances to different chambers in the nest!
? These clever birds use different materials for different purposes and insulate their home from harsh weather conditions.

A sneak-peek…
? Large twigs make up the roof of the nest for sturdiness.
? Sharp pieces of straw are at the entrances in order to ward off predators.
? The chambers are often filled with soft plant material, fur, cotton, and fluff for comfort.

Watch out!
? Even though the nest forms a safe haven, the weaver birds still have to be careful of the predators who lurk around these trees.
? A good nest will be built on a tall tree, generally with a smooth trunk and high branches to protect them from snakes, badgers, falcons, etc.
? The Sociable weaver birds build their massive nests on telephone poles and are seen typically in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa.

What’s ‘knot’ to admire in this work of art?

 

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