In the Kala­hari Desert, South Africa, native weaver birds build mas­sive nests that from a dis­tance look like a giant haystack stuck in a tree. These nests are often nest­ed in trees, or util­i­ty poles that car­ry tele­phone wires. From these, birds cre­ate a struc­ture with large sticks and then build walls of dry grass­es to cre­ate sep­a­rate rooms and floors, where each nest cham­ber is lined with soft­er grass­es and fibers. Bunch­es of straw pro­tect the entrance tun­nels from preda­tors. These nests are the largest built by any bird and are large enough to house over a hun­dred pairs of birds. Some par­tic­u­lar­ly durable weaver nests have remained occu­pied for sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions span­ning over 100 years.

weavers' nests

Entry relat­ed to place: Africa

Weaver nests are high­ly struc­tured and pro­vide birds with a more com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture rel­a­tive to the out­side. The cen­tral cham­bers retain heat and are used for night­time roost­ing. Out­side rooms are used for day­time cool­ness and main­tain tem­per­a­tures of 7–8 degrees Cel­sius inside while out­side tem­per­a­tures can range from 16–33 degrees Cel­sius.

bird nests on poles
Birds have acquired the sta­tus of “social” not because they live in large colonies, but because they are known to share their nests with sev­er­al oth­er species includ­ing owls, vul­tures, eagles, red-head­ed finch­es, ashy tits, and many more. Weaver birds are always ready to wel­come guests. More res­i­dents means more eyes watch­ing for dan­ger. And weavers often learn from oth­er birds where new sources of food can be found.

This beau­ti­ful pho­to series called Assim­i­la­tion was cre­at­ed by pho­tog­ra­ph­er Dil­lon Marsh.

See also
Clef Island in Wilson's Promontory Park