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I mentioned in an earlier post  how much we like our neighbors. I should have made one exception. They’re all great, except for this guy:


He inhabits the tree outside our bedroom window and he makes a racket every morning. In his defense, he was here before we were, but he hasn’t done much to moderate his habits now that he has new neighbors.

He’s a Village weaver, and he greets the dawn each day with open beak and wholehearted song. We haven’t paid him too much attention, given all of the other interesting birds around, but we’ve developed sort of a soft spot for him. He drives Steve absolutely mad in the early hours of the morning (they are noisy birds), but once he’s up and about, Steve enjoys watching from the patio.

“He’s building a nest!” Steve called one morning.

Sure enough, our little yellow friend was extremely hard at work, flitting between the tall grasses and the branches of the tree, crafting a pretty little nest. I love the weaver nests here – instead of taking over entire trees, like they do in Namibia, looking like someone threw massive hay bales up into the branches, the nests in Gaborone hang like little jewels or ornaments from the trees. They’re perfect little tear-drop shapes, dangling well out on the limbs, away from monkeys, snakes, and other threats. Tightly and ingeniously woven, they look extremely cozy.

The little guy worked all day – I have no idea how he didn’t exhaust himself, (good old Wikipedia says that a typical nest is made up of 300 pieces of grass or other material) bringing back grass and leaves piece by piece and threading them together with precision. By the end of the day, the tree was decorated with a single, perfect nest.


The original nest.

“Good for him,” Steve said.

Those good wishes vanished before dawn the next morning when our neighbor resumed his song, altered that day, with vigor and volume. Now that he had a cozy little nest, he was in search of a lady weaver.

We think that he was successful, as we eventually saw the head of a lady weaver peeking out of the nest while the yellow bird sat on the branch above. (I think he was admiring his handiwork, though I did wonder if he was thinking “wait a minute, you mean I don’t get to live in there anymore?”)

So it appears he had success, and it seems his song has resumed its normal volume, as opposed to the lusty cries for a mate we heard earlier. However, sometimes a good thing can be too much of a good thing, and Steve and I are starting to worry about the neighborhood.

It seems that our industrious friend, satisfied (or not) with his first nest, decided to build another. And then another. They’re springing up all over the tree – the work of one determined bird. He’s working on a fourth this morning and I managed to snap some photos of him in action. I’ve been working like crazy here, but he puts me to shame. I want to tell him to take the weekend off, but I don’t think he’d have it.


Some acacia leaves make nice building material.


Considering the perfect placement.


Bunching up the leaves and lining the nest.


This clearly takes some skill.


Satisfied with the nest.


For now.

I’m fairly convinced that he wants to develop weaver condos in the trees. I have to admire his ambition, though if he manages to rent out all those nests to other weavers who start singing before the sun comes up, he might get a visit from the neighbors.

Note: My apologies to any actual birders who read this and know more about weavers than we do. I’m always looking for the story, not the science.

2 comments on “Real Estate Development, Gaborone

  1. Stephanie Edwards says:

    Love this. I would be having him move if it was too early. You know me, not an early riser, except for elk!

    Liked by 1 person

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