Baya Weaver’s failed attempt at nest building

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“Had an opportunity to observe up close a young adult male Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus infortunatus), just developing breeding plumage, takes his first steps/attempts at nest building (above). He seemed to accept my presence at 3 meters and allowed extended observations. It is know that young males will attempt nest building and often abandon unfinished work.

“Here he was using some long grass for nesting material. There were no other nests nearby to use as a model but some other males were nearby.

“There were many problems with these attempts (three different episodes observed): 1. The attempts to build the nest were in some very tall reeds, not the usual tree/bush locations. 2. There was no possibility of hanging a nest at the three locations – they were only the reed stems. 3. This was just besides a path and at eye level, not great security.

“After three futile attempts at the three spots, he gave up for now. Perhaps this is how young birds learn by trial and error?

“If you look carefully, it appears that the beak is damaged – my medical opinion is that it is not a traumatic damage but looks eaten away as though by a fungal infection. Not sure if this hindered the nest building.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Tambun Interior, Perak, Malaysia
9th October 2010

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