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2016-04-20
Enormous Thorny House


We found at Pride of Africa mating Red-billed Buffalo Weavers this afternoon.

We do not see this specie often and was thrilled to get a couple of photos. Now Albert must help find the nest!

Most likely to be found in the northern parts of South Africa, the red-billed buffalo weaver is the messiest nest-maker of all weavers. There are three species in the buffalo weaver family: the red-billed buffalo weaver, white-headed buffalo weaver and the white-billed buffalo weaver. Of the three, only the red-billed buffalo weaver occurs in South Africa.​ Source : www.southafrica.net

Red-billed buffalo weavers breed in colonies. The nests are composed of an enormous mass of thorny twigs. These twigs are divided into separate lodges (compartments), each with multiple egg chambers. Each chamber has a smaller nest, typically built by the female (unless they are part of a cooperative breeding colony). The smaller nest is composed of grass, leaves, and roots. The whole nest is usually found in a thorny tree or in a windmill near areas inhabited by humans. It is interesting to note that when humans depart from particular areas, so do the red-billed buffalo weavers living in the same area. White-backed vultures and bateleurs tend to construct their nests above red-billed buffalo weaver nests, which is helpful in camouflaging their nests from predators.

Egg laying season can last from September to June, with the peak occurring between December and March. Females lay anywhere from 2 to 4 eggs and incubate them for roughly 14 days. The females are the only ones that tend to the eggs during this period. After 20 to 23 days, the birds leave the nest. Source : wikipedia