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lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

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Tuesday, 02 November 2010 23:52

thumb1Southern Masked Weaver – the master builder


Although the main goal of my photographic efforts in Namibia were by no doubts the wildlife animals, surprisingly enough, one of the best bird shots I have made in the backyard of Steiners house (see previous article Namibia’s highways and byways)! Right after the arrival to the house I noticed spectacular grass-woven ball-shaped nests attached to the bush and beautiful yellow males of Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus) flying around them.


The other day morning I woke up early and started to peer into the dense bushes while the sun was still behind the hills. The noticeably yellow colored Weaver became naturally the main object of my focus after a while – it did not také much time to make the very first photo of this bird. The bird’s cautiousness decreased over the time and the bird let me closer after a while – I could watch and document his builder abilities from behind the wall…the story continues with the photographs below:



1. Day – Fast builder


8:43 – More or less coincidental picture – this was just a record, or first if you prefer, shot of Southern Masked Weaver who turned up in the bush. At that moment I had no clue that this small branch will become a „building site“ soon…


16:51 the afternoon arrival from the city brought a big surprise – thin ball of woven grass was already hanging down from the branch that was empty just few hours before. Obviously the male was very busy building…


… while the female watched the event from neighbouring stick. It sometimes made indefinable sound and I was wondering whether it was compliment or rather as stimulation call to the male to build faster and better :- ) Females are quite picky and sometimes the male has to make more nests before the female finds it satisfactory for the brood…



17:09 – the framework of the nest is made of grass elaborately woven together and attached to the stick.


17:10 – To attach the whole structure the thin stalks are definitely better – they might be something as the rope would be for a man …


17:14 tight interlacing of the grass is essential for the strength of the nest …


17:23 – Bill of the Weaver is a very delicate tool – try to imagine yourself doing similar task using only your mouth …


17:26 – At the same time Weaver must be a good acrobat – no stalk can be left loose! (You can see the older nest in the background – ca. 1 meter from the new nest)


17:28 – The nest fixation is very important – at least during the first stages of nest building …


2. Day - Leaving Windhoek


7:42 – The other day morning the nest is obviously denser than the previous day and looks already more solid as the Weaver tightens all loose grass leaves. We are leaving for a fieldtrip for almost 3 weeks – I’m curious what the nest will look like then…



20.day – Return


17:52 – Obviously the nest was successfully finished and given the birds´ activity around it seems that some female occupies it! It is now perfectly compact and firmly attached to the branch. It is already partially dried out due to the hot Namibian sun. Surprisingly the grass stalks fixing the nest to the nearest twig are gone! Probably the Weaver only used them as a support during the first stages of the building and removed them later. There are at least 2 new nests built in the close vicinity – it is hard to tell who is the creator this time – Weavers usually live in a colonies of more males and females and males are also commonly polygynous (have more females). The male can build around 25 nests during one season – sometimes more nests in very short time period if the female is not happy with the first attempts…




Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 08:47
Comments (65)
  • Petr Bambousek  - WPY 2011

    Ahoj Jirko, tak musím říct, že ten tvůj seriál mě dostal. 17:26 pošli do nového ročníku WPY. Ta je opravdu nad míru podařená!

  • Jirka

    Diky moc Petre, Tvych slov si velmi cenim! A to doporuceni si vezmu k srdci ;-) i kdyz se na to necitim dostatecne privilegovany...

  • Radek Demjan

    Hoj me se moc libi ta fotka 17:10

    Je krasne zakomponovana, ma dostatek prostoru, a jak tam ten švec utahuje tu nitku a drzi si to nohou me totalne dostalo!

    Jinak moc pekny dokument!

  • Jirka

    Diky Radku, byl to opravdu zazitek!

  • Honza Veber  - No paráda!

    Ahoj Jirko, s gratulací se připojuji k ostatním a plně souhlasím s Petrem, ta fotka má hodně co do sebe!
    Krásné dny a užij si Afriku v srdci, ona už Ti tam stejně zůstane, nemám pravdu? ;.)

  • Jirka

    Diky Honzo,
    pravdu mas ale ted bude na chvili s dalekym cestovanim slus, to vis, ze uz mam v hlave seminko a to pomalu klici, takove Okawango by nebylo k zahozeni coz ? :D

  • Mecan  - Parádní serie

    Ahoj, jak to, že mi to uteklo? :) Pěkná serie, která jen vypovídá,jak je děj na fotce důležitý...17:23 je můj favorit ! Super! Až budeš plánovat cestu do Okawanga, tak dej vědět :)

  • Jirka

    Ahoj Martine, je to presne tak, udelej takovou serii s beznym ceskym ptakem a vsichni budou "slintat" :-)
    Cestu do Okawanga neplanuju, ne ze by to tam nebylo uzasny ale kdyz jsem videl tvou serii ockovani pred cestou do Ugandy tak me trochu presla chut na tropy :-)

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