The weaver bird belongs to ploceidac family. These birds are called weaver birds because their nests are intricately woven Vegetation. They are also called small passerine birds. All birds of this family are native to the old world, most in Africa South of the Sahara. Few live in tropical areas of Asia. The males of this species are brightly coloured, usually red or yellow and black. Some species show variation in colour during the breeding season. These are seed-eating birds colonies are found close to bodies of water.
The weaver birds are reputed for their woven nests. The nests vary in size, shape, the material used and construction techniques from species to species. Materials used for building nests are leaf fibres, grass, and twigs. The sociable weavers of Africa build apartment House nests in which 100 to 300 pairs have separate flask-shaped chambers entered by tubes at the bottom. The sparrow weavers in family units employ cooperative breeding. Most species weave nests that have narrow entrances facing downward. The birds build their nests together for protection having many nests on a branch. Usually, the male weaver birds build beautiful nests to attract mates.
The family ploceidac was introduced by the Swedish Zoologist card Jakob Sundevall in 1836. This family is sister to a clade containing the families viduidae and Estrildidae. Their common ancestor lived in the middle Miocene around 18 million years ago. The family inches 15 genera with a total of 188 species.
The weaver birds are master architects. Their art is God-given and based on instincts. Humans are the highest primates but are unable for such architecture. It can not be imitated also. The weaver bird is a wonder of Nature. Their art and pragmatism are to be praised. And that cannot be questioned. In this aspect, Humans are inferior to the weaver bird. Are not we?
(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)
Radhakanta Seth is a former Income tax officer in Sambalpur. He is a freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri, and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published in Kolkata.
He can be reached at [email protected]