Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Aftermath

To get the "full effect" of today's entry, scroll down to Wednesday, 8 Dec, & then date-wise, read the unfolding drama "backwards".

Intrigued & right after yesterday's blog-entry, I went to inspect the ground underneath the nest - because I was under the impression that the nest only contained 1 (& no longer 2) weaver chicks. That's when I made the grisly discovery confirming what I had feared: amongst broken egg shells I found the probably 2-day old "corpse" - but I have no idea if the little one had fallen out of the nest during the ferocious storm OR if it was "kicked out" by the other chick.

Will I have the opportunity to solve this mystery? It all depends on WHO eventually emerges from the nest! On the other hand, I'm beginning to think I'm paranoid about a Diederik cuckoo chick "hiding" in the nest, because the dead one on the ground is already covered in too many feathers to only be a 4-day old bird!?

Before I made the grisly discovery & after "retrieving" the nest blown down during the storm before the male Masked weaver destroyed it, I literaly "dissected" it - & was amazed at what such a nest "hides" inside. Other than the feathers I saw the female arriving with, to me the inside looks like a "treasure chest" of what nature has on offer.

For a "special effect" I placed the little egg I had also "discovered" in the other half of the nest . . .

. . . and by way of a comparison, I placed a med-small chicken egg next to the weaver egg.

Since the male Masked weaver had revealed the intention to also "destroy" the nest on the ground (& not only 1 of the nests in the tree the feamale weavers had obviously "rejected"), I took 1 of the 2 halves back to where I had found the nest on the ground - to see if the male would continue the "distruction".

I had hardly left when sure enough, the male weaver "reappeared". At first he seemed to just check it out - after all, he was being "confronted" with only half a dissected nest . . .

. . . but then he "went to town" - really making "a meal" of things . . .

. . . proving once again what a master-destroyer he is/can be - leaving virtually no "evidence" of what once was a handsomely built & "furnished" nest.

As if nothing out of the ordinary was taking place, "mother" weaver continued what she does best - feeding her young . . .

. . . which definitely appears to be only one chick = 1 head constantly "popping" out . . .

. . . whilst our master-destroyer seems exhausted - or is that somewhat confused? For the rest of the day he flutters from one to the other still not completed nests (2 in total), whereas the female weaver, who has lost her nest, makes an occassional appearance before she "disappears from the horizon".

Question: there are still 5 nests around (1 occupied by a chick, 2 unoccupied/ dried out & 2 half-finished/still green) - why? Well, Roberts "states" that Masked weavers roost in "unlined" nests at night!

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