Thursday, December 23, 2010

Empty Nest Syndrome

So the "Empty-Nest-Syndrome" (in reaction to what I reported during the previous posting on this blog) has set in. This is commonly known as a general feeling of loneliness when children leave home = a psychological condition than can affect a woman but for which there is no cure - only ways to deal with it.

This is what a few days ago the above nest looked like (= "containing" 2 Bokmakierie chicks). So instead of watching my children "spread their wings and fly away" - which, in actual fact happened years ago already :( - it happened to me (again!!) when the little Masked weaver as well as the Bokmakierie youngsters did so literally!!

But then: I caught a movement in a nearby bush & right away started "snapping" away, ending with this picture of a tiny wing being spread (= click on photo to enlarge).

After waiting patiently, this is what eventually emerged - a young Masked weaver - the little one I watched a few days ago leave its nest??

And there was mother Masked weaver (somewhat "hidden" from view on the left side of the photo = just click on photo to enlarge) still feeding her chick.

"Back at the range" (= amongst the 5 remaining Masked weaver nests just outside our bedroom) another female was around - revealing an interest to occupy one of the nests?

But wait a moment - 1 of the 5 nests has a big hole!!

Not only does the nest look "damaged" but actually, it's the nest I "scrutinised" for days, watching the female feed her chicks (bottom left in photo) and also from which days ago, I duly recorded the "surviving" little chick emerge & then fly away (after the storm; SEE: entry on this blog, Sunday, 12 Dec). SO: this isn't a nest, which according to "the theory" (> myth; SEE: entry on this blog, Tuesday 9 Dec), was rejected by a female!!?

And this is the culprit - our master-builder turned master-destroyer at work - AGAIN!! = the 3rd nest I've by now watched him destroy.

This happened this morning & in a very short time span, because the male Masked weaver "doesn't play around" - once he "decides" to destroy all evidence that a nest, in fact, once existed.

So in no time, this is the "sorry picture" of the nest. Now I'm confused: instead of only destroying a rejected nest, why also "wipe out" a once-occupied nest?

Our hero-cum-master-builder/destroyer has solved the mystery: soon after getting rid of every bit of evidence that a nest existed once, I saw him hang upside down from the twig - as if he was "testing" the flexibility/strength of the twig. Moments later he returned with a blade of grass = started to build a new nest right away = on the same twig = the male Masked weaver was obviously convinced that THIS was the ideal location for his next attempt to "grow the family" :) because from here an offspring had successfully "emerged".

A LAST look at the "location" (click on photo to enlarge) = centre/rightish. This "saga" started off with 5 nests, then there were 6 of which the "owner" soon after destroyed 1; then after the storm, 1 was "ripped off" (which eventually, the owner also destroyed); he built another (never probably completed) nest & there were 5 again; then he destroyed another nest (= the third - as mentioned above) & now: there are 5 nests "around" again.

No comments: