Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime


Country           South Africa
Provinces        Mpumalanga and Limpopo
Location:         Kruger National Park
Camp              Skukuza Rest Camp

This picture shows a  brilliant yellow weaver in extraordinary detail, from the eye, through the feathers,  down to the claws. Weaver birds, also known as weaver finches, are the artisans extraordinaire of the bird world.  This colorful  species is seven to eight inches long, and widespread in Africa and Asia. As their name suggests, they fashion intricate nests out of plant material, carefully threaded and woven into a solid structure. Designs and neatness of construction vary widely among the different species of weaver birds. Some are simple and scruffy, with a small tube and roundish nests. Other species build much more elaborate nests, with the strands of grass carefully interwoven to form a well-defined structure. The main part is


a hollow sphere, lined with nesting material, accessed through a long tube which has a small entrance hole. The nests are usually tough and well-secured so a high wind will not blow them down. The best weaver birds have the ability to tie dozens of different shaped knots and loops for which they use their feet as well as beaks.

Among most weavers, the male takes sole responsibility for initial building of the nest and their efforts advertise their skill and quality to potential mates.  He uses his "love-nest" to entice a female, who is likely to be very fastidious. If his efforts fail over the course of a week,  he will dismantle the entire structure and begin again in the same spot, hoping for better luck.

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