The Baya Weaver Project: I am still fairly new to birding. So I get a little wide-eyed at everything I see. Nevertheless, I was quite delighted to spot the Baya Weaver in Ulwe. My last memory of this bird and its amazing nest-making skills go years back to the cantonment area in Dehradun.
It’s interesting to note their behaviour. I could stay in position and shoot continuously because there was a narrow inlet of water separating the tree from me. And the birds knew this. I did try to cross over the inlet and approach the tree from the other side. But the moment I did that, they flew away.
The Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) is a weaverbird found across South and Southeast Asia. They are best known for their hanging retort shaped nests woven from leaves. These nest colonies are usually found on thorny trees or palm fronds and the nests are often built near water or hanging over water where predators cannot reach easily.
Among the population variations, three subspecies are recognized. The nominate race philippinus is found through much of mainland India while burmanicus is found eastwards into Southeast Asia. The population in southwest India is darker above and referred to as subspecies travancoreensis.
The fellow featured here is a male of burmanicus race, with the distinctive bright yellow crown. I have other pictures with the nest visible. Will post soon.
©2012 Rahul Jauhari. All rights reserved.