Saturday, July 21, 2012

That bird again

It is, as most of you worked out, a weaver. In fact the White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali), a common enough bird in parts of southern Africa. This picture of a treeful of their nests illustrates both their weavering abilities and their tendency to live colonially (perhaps an indelicate word in an African context). The most spectacular of which I have personal experience are the Buffalo Weavers, which build condominiums wherever they can find a suitable structure to support them. On a trip across the treeless Namibe desert some years ago, where the only structures were the electricity and telephone gantries alongside the single railway track, I noted with satisfaction that they had exploited this improbable source: a Buffalo Weaver colony on practically every one. Good on you, Buffies!

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