Proposal accepted and rejected within 30 mins by female Baya Weaver

posted in: Courtship-Mating, Nests | 1

On 20 Jun 18, I observed a male Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) building its nest at Tampines Eco Green. This activity began very well for this male bird but ended strangely and abruptly. The series of events are captured in my photos as follows.

1.The male bird flew to the nest with a mouthful of long strands of Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum), used as nesting materials (above).

2.It began weaving the long grass into the exterior of the nest (above).

3.Suddenly, a female bird appeared perched at the top of the nest to make its presence known. The male bird stopped its building activity and flew away from the nest (above).

4.The male bird perched below the nest (lower right-hand corner of the photo) while the female bird inspected the nest before deciding to approve or reject this proposal (above).

5.The female bird gave its approval by giving out a call and flapping its wings on top of the nest. The male bird did not hesitate and immediately flew over to the female bird (above).

6.The female bird was still flapping its wings while it waited for the male bird to mount on its back. The male bird extended its legs to prepare for landing (above).

7.When the male bird landed on the female bird’s back, the female bird stopped flapping its wings. The male bird very quickly inseminated the female bird (above).

8.The male bird dismounted and flew off after the mating activity (above).

9.Interestingly, the female bird remained at the top of the nest and flapped its wings for about a minute. After that, it flew into the nest (above).

10.The male bird continued with the business of gathering nesting materials (above).

11.The male bird continued working on the exterior of the nest while the female worked on the interior. Once the male bird had exhausted the long grass for weaving, it flew off to gather some more (above).

12.Now, this is where things took a different direction. While the male bird was away, a second male bird appeared. It did not carry any long grasses (above).

13.It flew towards the nest and landed on the branches to the right of the photo (above). It gave out several calls. The female bird responded and flew out of the nest for a few seconds but flew back in again. The second male bird called again. This time, the female bird flew out of the nest, towards the second male bird; both chatted noisily for a few seconds and flew away from the nest, never to return. Unfortunately I was unable to capture this fleeting moment.

In summary, these events took less than 30 minutes but it was filled with lots of drama in the natural world of Baya Weaver birds.

Thong Chow Ngian
20th June 2018

  1. Lee Chiu San

    Infidelity among birds has been recorded in many species. It has been observed that females of the various species of Weaver Finches (of which the Baya is one) are particularly impressed by males who possess impressive holdings of real estate. They tend to go with those males who have the best nests.
    However, for two-timing, the females of the Eclectus Parrot probably win hands down. A female Eclectus Parrots would stand prominently outside her nest hole and be courted in turn by numbers of males. After taking food offerings from one, and sending him on his way to gather more, she would shamelessly entertain the next in line and do the same with him.

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