southeast asia

southeast asia

Baya Weaver The Amazing Nest Builder

42m ago
SOURCE  

Description

Baya Weaver ========== The Baya Weaver is a weaverbird found across the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Flocks of these birds are found in grasslands, cultivated areas, scrub and secondary growth and they are best known for their hanging retort shaped nests woven from leaves. These nest colonies are usually found on thorny trees or palm fronds and the nests are often built near water or hanging over water where predators cannot reach easily. Description ========= These are sparrow-sized (15 cm) and in their non-breeding plumage, both males and females resemble female house sparrows. They have a stout conical bill and a short square tail.. Breeding males have a bright yellow crown, dark brown mask, blackish brown bill, upper parts are dark brown streaked with yellow, with a yellow breast and cream buff below. Behaviour and ecology ================= Baya Weavers are social and gregarious birds. They forage in flocks for seeds, both on the plants and on the ground. They are known to glean paddy and other grain in harvested fields, and occasionally damage ripening crops and are therefore sometimes considered as pests. They roost in reed-beds bordering waterbodies. They also feed on insects including butterflies sometimes taking small frogs, geckos and molluscs,especially to feed their young.. Their calls are a continuous chit-chit... They are occasionally known to descend to the ground and indulge in dust bathing. Breeding ======= The breeding season of the Baya Weavers is during the monsoons.They nest in colonies typically of up to 20-30, close to the source of food, nesting material and water. Baya Weavers are best known for the elaborately woven nests constructed by the males. These pendulous nests are retort-shaped, with a central nesting chamber and a long vertical tube that leads to a side entrance to the chamber. The nests are woven with long strips of paddy leaves, rough grasses and long strips torn from palm fronds. Each strip can be between 20 and 60 cm in length. A male bird is known to make up to 500 trips to complete a nest. The birds use their strong beaks to strip and collect the strands, and to weave and knot them while building their nests. The nests are often built hanging over water. ( However, not all nests are alike. Some are larger than others, and some were built in shorter periods while other takes longer to build. The male's experience certainly played an important role, and that's why the female prefers to mate with older, experienced male that successfully build better nest than the younger ones ) The nests are partially built before the males begin to display to passing females by flapping their wings and calling while hanging from their nests. The females inspect the nest and signal their acceptance of a male. Once a male and a female are paired, the male goes on to complete the nest by adding the entrance tunnel. Males are almost solely in charge of nest building, though their female partners may join in giving the finishing touches, particularly on the interiors. Females may modify the interiors or add blobs of mud. Both males and females are polygamous.The female lays about 2 to 4 white eggs. After mating with a female the male typically court other females at other partially constructed nests. Intraspecific brood parasitism is known, that is, females may lay their eggs in the nests of others. The nest, being suspended from thorny trees and overhanging water, is protected from many predators, but nest predation by crows is not unusual. Brood may also be destroyed by lizards such as Calotes or rodents which may take over the nest. Nests may sometimes be taken over and used for nesting by Indian Silverbills ...