Thursday, December 9, 2010

Destroyer at Work

What yesterday looked like a weaver nest slowly taking shape is the next day nearly completed - with the master builder sitting proudly next to it observing his handy work - or has this male Masked weaver something else on his mind?

Following his gaze, delight at the weaver's accomplishment turns to horror - but then fascination too, because I observe that 1 of the 6 nests "shows" signs of destruction. Who is the culprit? The male weaver or a "disgruntled" female??

Last year, on Sunday 4 October, I posted the following on this photo-blog: "... whilst doing some research (reading up in Robert's Birds of Southern Africa & on Google), I discovered: a Myth = an Urban Legend, which is generally told when the subject 'Masked weavers' is under discussion.

It goes like this: if a female Masked weaver doesn't like a nest a male has built, SHE tears it down & he can start all over again. Fact is: if a female doesn't accept a nest, THE MALE (hinself) tears it down (!!) & then starts the whole process over by constructing another nest - mostly for another (more appreciative, I guess) female."

I ended that blog-entry with the hope that one day, I would see proof of what I had "learned" was a myth. Was today my day?

YES!! Camera in hand I "recorded" the action/required evidence (apart from taking photos, I also recorded many a video clip). So Roberts etc was/is right - the "culprit" is the male Masked weaver himself!!
Will someone please pass this fact (> fiction) on to Sir Richard Branson, who on Oprah's show also "revealed" that the female weavers tear down "unsatisfactory" nests?

By the way: only Masked weaver males destroy some of their nests = none of the other weaver (species) males do - their nests simply "dry out" & eventually disintigrate.

In no time, this was the view of the 6 nests - the destruction is taking place on the nest bottom left.

So the master builder has turned into a master destroyer . . .

. . . really "hacking" the nest to pieces - perhaps he doesn't like the Number 6?

He does such a "good job" that afterwards, I can't find any evidence on the ground (underneath the nests) that in fact, a nest had actually existed. So yes, the master destroyer manages to leave absolutely no evidence that a "crime" was committed!!

Instead he continues to "innocently" put the "finishing touches" to the nest he started to build yesterday - whilst a "new" female (= addition to this male weaver's harem) "inspects" the other "green" (> already dried out) nest for possible occupation. Now that matters have "returned to normal", I watch how she flies away only to return with a feather in her beak - a process that gets repeated. The female has obviously made "her decision" & is ready to move in, but not before adding "cushioning" (in the form of feathers) to her nest of choice . . .

. . . whilst our hero (turned villain?) continues to "flirt" (= "fanning" its wings).

No comments: