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Posted by on Oct 8, 2010 in Featured, Photography, Wildlife | 3 comments

Friday Photo 33: Deconstructing Weaver

Each year in early Spring this masked weaver bird returns to our suburban Joburg garden to take up residence in a large palm tree. Each year he diligently weaves together strips of palm frond and other shredded leaves into at least three nests ready for the arrival of his missus a few weeks later.

Once Mrs. Weaver has had a chance to inspect the selection of accommodations available, he (I assume) sets about the task of deconstructing the unneeded properties. I’m not certain how true it is, but someone once suggested to me that the unused nests are destroyed so that rogue birds can’t move into the territory. Seems weavers don’t want squatters in their neighbourhoods either.

Usually the female seems to choose the first nest that the industrious male constructed, so putting together the other two nests (and for two years in a row, the other three) does seem like a little effort overkill.

Deconstructing Weaver (c)  Greg Pillhofer 2010

The tree in which the weavers nest is alongside our swimming pool, and last weekend I noticed the dried leaf bits floating on the surface of the water before I noticed the weaver stripping the nest above. It was entirely gone with 10 minutes of me taking the picture. I stood almost directly below the nest in order to get a reasonably clear line of sight through the foliage to the nest about 12m above me.

All in all, I shot about 25 pictures of which this was one of the very few in which the bird stopped moving long enough for me to get a clear picture. And he/she had showed me the wonderful courtesy of looking straight at me with a rather quizzical expression as well at the same time. Double bonus time!

“Deconstructing Weaver” © Greg Pillhofer, 2010
Original Capture: 02/10/2010, 02:29pm – Johannesburg, South Africa
Canon EOS 350D | f/10 | 1/500 sec | ISO-400 | 200mm | No Flash


  1. Nice one mate. Always tricky taking pictures of birds especially busy birds.

    • Decent of you to say so AR, appreciate it.

  2. interesting, thanks


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