These magnificent creatures are to be found in our area, with some amazing tales! They truely are sociable! Here is a little bit of history behind the sociable weaver.
The sociable weaver (Philetairus socius), also commonly known as the common social weaver is a species of bird in the Passeridae family endemic to Southern Africa. It is monotypic within the genus Philetairus. It is found in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana but their range is centred within the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. They build large compound community nests, a rarity among birds. These nests are perhaps the most spectacular structure built by any bird.
Measuring around 14 cm (5.5 in) in length, the sociable weaver has a black chin, black barred flanks and a scalloped back. They weigh 26–32 g (0.92–1.13 oz), and sexes are indistinguishable.
It’s nest, however, can make your jaw drop in amazement. Looking like haystacks planted in quiver trees, thorn trees, windmills or on telephone poles, these communal nests are crucial to the birds’ survival.
They are also testament to what teamwork can do. Each of these gigantic nests is home to around 300 of these small birds. Every bird adds a few more bits of grass and straw to the nest every day.
The results are staggering. A single nest can weigh more than 1 000 kilogrammes. Not surprisingly, the trees or structures in which they are built sometimes just collapse. Undaunted, the sociable weavers immediately start on their next building project.
The nests consist of separate chambers, each of which is occupied by a pair (sometimes with offspring) roost and breed. Nests are built around large and sturdy structures like acacia trees or sometimes even telephone poles.
What makes them do it?
The Kalahari is a semi-desert, with extreme temperatures. On a winter’s night, the mercury can plummet well below freezing. At noon in the height of summer, it’s so hot that heat mirages form on the horizon.
The sociable weavers’ grassy, thatched, insulated home, however, allows the birds to live at fairly moderate temperatures. Small animals like these (sociable weavers weigh only about 27 grammes) are very prone to heat stress and if it weren’t for their nests, they would have to expend great amounts of energy obtaining more water and regulating body temperature.
These amazing animals is an inspiration for team work!! Fascinating to watch and to listen to!!