Birds nests are generally amazing structures, (regular readers will know of my fascination with this particular shelter as a symbol of home – see other ‘Home’ posts) but all are eclipsed by those made by Philetairus socius – the sociable weaver bird who builds gigantic communal nests from sticks and grass. If there are no trees around, as demonstrated in this shot of the Kalahari Desert, then telegraph poles will make adequate substitutes for this little feathered creature. The structures can last for decades with generations of weaver birds, often around a hundred pairs in a nest, harmoniously living together including sharing the raising of young. The avian shelters are designed to adapt to the extremes of desert temperatures by having a thick thatched roof to screen out the scorching sun, whilst able to retain heat through the cold nights.
This wonderful photograph is by Dillon Marsh – please follow the link to see an insightful record of life in southern Africa by this interesting photographer.