19 August 2006

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Please say Hello to the weaver bird.Amazing craftsman and a terrific architect. Very tiny, hardly four inches long, but for such a tiny life the effort is equal to building Sears Towers all alone without any help. The work has to go on schedule. It can't afford any delay.


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Works very fast, Perhaps works alone ?? Not sure, I have not seen any help or two birds working on one nest. Gathers twigs from nearby fields. Has to fly quite a distance with each twig in its beak. This is how the weaver bird starts weaving the nest.


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They build or weave different nests together, six or seven were on the job weaving different nests at the same time.


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I couldn't go any closer. I was standing very far in a harvested field and watching the action.They all would fly away when a car or a truck passed on the nearby country road. I decided not to go any closer and scare them away, which might cause delay in their tight scedule. They continued weaving in pouring rain.


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The top is loosely connected to the weakest part of the tree branch, almost to the tip, so that heavier birds don't sit on it, so flexible that it swings frantically in the wind and they continue weaving their home at an amazing pace. If it is rigid and tight eggs and the chicks would be thrown out of the nest.


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Saw dark clouds, it was getting pretty dark. Suddenly it started to pour in buckets. I kept the camera covered in plastic, back in the camera bag. I was out in open standing on a field, no shelter, the only option was to rush to the tree and scare away the weaving birds. I remained where I was completely drenched looking like a damn fool.

Saw a couple of cars slowing down at a distance, perhaps taking my picture.
Is that a scarecrow ?
No, he's got a bag and looking up
Scarecrows don't wear jeans and t shirts you dummy !
and they don't hang a camera bag !
Imported scarecrow may be ??

I am just standing there out in open in a heavy downpour doing nothing, No umbrella, Just standing there like a statue.
Never travel with me. This was near the banks of river Cauvery.


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The rain stopped, I continued taking pictures. Through the lens I could see the interior of the nest which was surprisingly dry. It is water proof, believe me, and very very strong.


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Comparing notes ? Is there any contest ? who finishes first or admiring each other's nest ?.


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Checking Checking ! The opening is very small, so that bigger birds don't enter and eat away their eggs and chicks.


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Who teaches them to weave ?We think only we the humans are the most intelligent creatures on the planet.



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Two of them here, very busy, They get angry and fight.
I'll take you to the court and sue you for stealing my design ?
Yea they have problems too !
who doesn't have ???
Any way they continued weaving their nest.

This is how the nest looks from behind, It was facing me, I did not go and check, it will have the opening on the other side. thats what I assumed.


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They stop and watch the neighbour weaving. Time for a break.


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Sometimes they are completely outside and insert the twig without touching ? Don't know.
They keep fluttering in the air and weave.


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They bring only one twig at a time, they keep flying back and forth to collect twigs.


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The picture is not upside down, the bird is hanging upside down and weaving defying gravity, clinging on with its tiny claws.


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Checking the interior ? Hellow !! How is your home coming up ? You need any help ?


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Off to get another twig


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It was getting dark, saw the clouds gathering, It started to pour again. Took a bus and went straight to Reeni's house dripping wet. Her dad pressed my t-shirt dryCherian and Reeni are in chicago. Had a hot cup of tea.
Thank you Mr. Samuel.
Blunt Knife
WildPIC

48 comments:

FOUR DINNERS said...

They are incredible photo's. Thank you for posting them. I've only seen these birds on wildlife programmes. Must have been magical to watch them at work.

Rauf said...

Yes FOUR DINNERS, it was amazing, flying back and forth with right kind of twigs, saw them dropping unsuitable ones. Level of concentration was inspiring.

ari4u said...

I saw one when i was a kid never since then. Forgot such a bird even existed. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and narration; and salute to your patience. Take care of your health and next time please carry a rain gear with you. Rain is not good for you.

Rauf said...

I get sick walking in the rain in our city Aamir. Something to do with attitude. Never get sick in the country side. Difficult to carry an umbrella or rain coat Aamir, can't carry too much weight.

Ruth said...

Rauf, at home on dial-up, but it was worth waiting for these photos to load. Never heard of these birds. The nests are gorgeous, same shape as birdhouses we make out of gourds. Sometimes their nests are combined in colonies? Rooms inside? It is incredible to consider their habits and see your photos, know you were there watching them. What a life you have there.

Don Iannone said...

Rauf...Wonderful. My heart takes flight seeing this magnificent flying creatures. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Hello dear imported scarecrow
This is what you want to be. Serves you right.
-S-

Anonymous said...

As someone said...just incredible,Rauf..I feel these're some of your best...


Gangadhar
http://ganga.wordpress.com

(blogger not allowing me to login...0

Rauf said...

Thank you Don

Rauf said...

I never said I want to be a scarecrow Anonymous -S- I play scarecrow when I am with children.
and I don't want to be a statue. I know what pigeons would do to me.

Rauf said...

Gangadhar, please read the post.

Rauf said...

I have been lazy all my life Ruth. When I see such display of relentless labour and determination I get inspired for a while then I go back to my lazy world. These birds don't give up even in pouring rain.
I have seen some very clumsy work by bigger birds like spoon bill, Painted, and open bill storks. These tiny birds are very artistic and very neat

Yes they Live in colonies, there were about a dozen of them on that tree and six or seven were still under construction . Perhaps more on the other side of the tree. I did not go closer Ruth.

Imemine said...

Excellent report and documentary! I've never seen these birds in real life. I should go to Kerala one day.

Rauf said...

This is Karnataka Imenine, close to River Cauvery, about 20 Kilometers from Mysore. The whole area is very fertile, thousands of paddy fields there. State of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been fighting over Cauvery waters, resulting in riots.

Ash said...

Very nice post!
Thanks for sharing....

Rauf said...

Thank you Ash

Sangita said...

Absolutely wonderful. Did they really finhs it while u were looking now that must be very fast and u patient as well to wait for so long..And I love the hange in color of the daylight template..It makes it look very pretty

e2d said...

amazing Rauf!I have seen the nest before, a dried up version, in a curio shop on sale.Pathetic isnt?

Thanks for this treat.I doubt if I would ever get a chance to see something like this.
And Rauf I bet people would love to travel with you...for all the wrong and right reasons(which are relative)..like travelling without a destination, or train hopping or chasing rains and enjoying getting drenched in them.
U simply inspire me :)

And cool new header.Lovely pic.It sure is time to wake up!

Darius said...

Pretty amazing -

Rauf said...

Its started raining again Sangita, it was getting dark, I had to leave, couldn't see the finish. I was standing there almost the whole day. Legs were paining.

I changed the blog picture this afternoon, picture was taken near silent valley, glad you like the picture.

please do one thing Sangita, create a new blog, give some title
Please go to this site

http://www.pannasmontata-templates.net/templates/blogger-templates-01-10/

download a template you like, you get a zip file, there is a code, copy that full page and delete the test blog template code and see the preview. They have some very beautiful templates. When a dumb guy with no knowledge of computers can do it so can you, you are young and intelligent.

.

Rauf said...

Aiyoo e2dees, Traveling with me is not a good idea. You'll kill me. I had to leave as it started raining again, Fields were getting flooded making it difficult to walk. Reached the road somehow, 2 buses wouldn't stop, scared that I am a weirdo, I could be a terrorist or a ghost, after one hour when I saw the third bus coming, I stood in the middle of the road in heavy downpour, he had to stop. It was getting pretty dark, had to go to my friend's place in mysore 20 kilometers away and take 8'o'clock train back to Madras.

The nest is very strong, but selling it is really sick.

Booked my tickets for 6th Sept, they get filled up so fast for Onam season. Vallamkalli is on 9th, just want to see flower arrangements some onam cultural activities. Wish you were here e2dees.

Rauf said...

e2dees, the header picture is Anakatti on the way to Silent valley

Rauf said...

Yes they are amazing Darius, very inspiring for a lazy guy like me.

sandy said...

What a wonderful blog. Thank you for the story of the weaverbirds.

Rauf said...

You have a sweet blog yourself Sandy. You are doing a noble job, as noble as teaching. Thanks for stepping in.

Ruth said...

I had noticed the new header photo too, it's very hopeful.

ricardo said...

it is a very beautiful "reportage", once again!
thank

Rauf said...

Thank you Ruth, We all live with the hope to see a better tomorrow

Rauf said...

Its a pity that I don't read French Ricardo. I speak five languages though not very fluently.
Always wanted to learn French.
Thank you Ricardo

Frida said...

This is truly amazing. The progression is fantastic.
Love the birds.

Rauf said...

Thanks Frida, I can't work like them. I am allergic to wisdom and intelligence and labour

kathy said...

Hi Rauf :)

i just stumbled across your third blog. that template by panasomoto <--- not spelled right, looks good! the picture fits the template and i like the colors. I know your experimenting with it...

I like the template i'm using, i love messing around with stuff like that. that sunset is awesome by the way, really beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

i hope my message gets through this time.

kathy said...
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kathy said...

it can drive you nuts! those little < < that get in the way GRrrrrrrr lol

kathy said...
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Rauf said...

Kathy, I know nothing about what goes between the key board, mouse and the computer. Luckily there is a clear edits button for dimwits like me. Got into a mess with existing blog, luckily that was early. Now I cannot afford to tinker with this. So I am trying with a new blog. When ever the computer hangs I wonder why they don't have holes to put some oil to make it work again. Disk clean up is shoving a water hose in to the computer. With this much of knowledge I go about tinkering my page.
What ever I do any monkey can do.

wildpic said...

cool post rauf ...

The Weavers are small passerine birds (Sometimes known as perching birds) related to the finches.

These are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills, most of which breed in sub-Saharan Africa, with fewer species in tropical Asia. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black.

These are gregarious birds which often breed colonially. They sometimes cause crop damage, notably the Red-billed Quelea, reputed to be the world's most numerous bird.

males build home, and the female rears the offspring. And while the female incubates the eggs, the male may try to attract another partner.

The male’s success in getting any female at all depends on his physical fitness and the quality of the nest he builds. Breeding takes place in the rainy season when there is plenty of new grass around for building and lots of insects for feeding the young. The male bird weaves the outer shell of a nest hanging from the tip of a branch, and whenever an unmated female visits the tree in search of a partner, he hangs from the nest by his feet, fluttering and showing off the bright colours under his wings.

If his display is adequate, and his nest is suitably fresh and green, the female may accept him. But she will refuse him, however good his display, if his nest is brown and dry. A nest turns brown in a week as the grass dries in the hot sun, so if a male does not attract a female while the nest is still green, he has to dismantle it and start again with fresh leaves. Only by insisting on a green nest can a female be certain it is newly built and strong enough to house her and her family.

wildpic said...

To enter the nest itself, a weaverbird swoops down at speed to the tunnel entrance and then folds its wings, allowing its momentum to carry it upward through the tunnel without touching the sides.

far out huh ...

Rauf said...

Thanks Suresh, I have posted these details in Blunt knife.

Dressing up, grooming ourselves, beauty parlours, make up, perfume, spending a lot to look our best, makes a lot of sense. Humans are not idiots afterall.

e2d said...

Suresh, Rauf: Interesting information.The female weaver knows what she want and isn't easily impressed.And it seems like the male has to sweat a bit. Fascinating how they enter their nest.
Thanks for the info.

Rauf said...

Thousands of movies on the subject e2dees. Poor hero has to do all the tricks he can imagine to attract the heroine. Its hard work really. Singing talent is additional help.
Painted storks come up with flight display to impress the female.

e2d said...

U are right Rauf. I guess most of our creativity/ideas is either stolen from nature or inspired by nature. We really cannot claim much originality.
Perhaps the one original idea we came up with is marriage as a culmination of courtship!
It’s interesting—if u look up the meaning of courtship, according to wikipedia, for humans it’s attracting a mate for marriage. Whereas for animal kingdom it’s just attracting a mate. Now who really is the smarter one?
Just being cheeky..:)

Cool new template Rauf!Very beautiful.:)

Cindy said...

I found your blog via Bill- what a beautiful template and that post about those little birds was absolutely amazing!

Patty said...

Rauf, you have added a lovely new image at the top and a background and links! I think it's a great new look. I really loved reading all about how these birds create their nests-how extraordinary! This post made me smile all the way through. I also loved all the boat race photos, especially the first from the woman's section post. The races must have been exciting to experience! Thanks for sharing. The post that made me very sad was, For One Square Meal. I wish I could end the suffering and pain of all the children and others in the world. Although, Beat the Heat was sad as well, it was also inspiring to see how people manage and are happy with so much less than myself. I hope you got the email I sent you. Love to you and your family Rauf!

Rauf said...

e2dees, sorry for late response, I keep goofing up, and get into more and more trouble with the template
and updating this post. Now the pictures are coming from photobucket album.

most of our ideas are inspired by nature e2dees you are dead right.

Rauf said...

Thank you Cindy, sorry for my late response. I got into a mess tampering with the template design.
I saw your blog, the design is beautiful, looks like it has come straight out of ancient scriptures.
Looks lovely.

Rauf said...

Sweet Patty
Please focus on your studies. Forget about the war and the pain and suffering in the world for a while. I am eagerly waiting for your site to come up, please don't spend much time on it. I know this is your serious hobby and photography keeps your creativity vibrating all the time, but you have other important things to do.
I am missing the fruits of your imagination.
lots of love and hugs

Lord Boo said...

fantastic post, Poms ! loved it ! weaver birds have always fascinated me; i love the way they weave their nests! i loved the beautiful green background for the yellow and brown nest and the birds ! lovely pics, as usual *hugs*