Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Baya's are weaving!
As kids whenever we were taken out for a drive to Suraj Kunj in Delhi or here in Bangalore on the road to Mysore, my eyes wandered to the numerous Baya weaver bird (Ploceus philippinus) nests hanging from the babul (accacia) trees in colonies or from palm fronds or bull rushes and usually near a lake or a pond. Apparently,the idea of the overhang on water is to prevent predators getting at the eggs and chicks. The birds flew busily in and out of the nests weaving them furiously and often the tiny bird could be seen comically carrying this huge filament torn off from a large palm, flying out behind it, to ‘weave’ it into its nest.
The birds looked very like the small sparrow but the males are a bright yellow. Various species are found of the seed eating birds which have rounded conical bills and are closely related to finches. As children we picked off the nests which were empty and closer to the ground but apparently the birds recycle their nests. They refurbish the older nests and reuse the same ones over the years.