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Venturesome Overland

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We have an update on the weaver.

I came home for lunch the other day and happened to glance out the window over the patio to find our friend hard at work. This time, though, he wasn’t building another nest. He was furiously yanking apart the nest we’d watched him build less than a week earlier.

He hung upside down from it and grabbed and pulled and tossed and feverishly dismantled it. Sometimes he’d carefully pull on a single strand of grass, as if that one piece could unravel the whole nest. Other times he grabbed great beak-fulls of drying grass, ripping viciously at it.

His determination and energy in disassembly eclipsed his efforts in building the nest in the first place. When he needed a break from ripping it apart from the bottom, he perched on the branch and went about undoing the intricate knotting that held it to the tree. He was a bird on a mission. Within 20 minutes it was all destroyed – you’d never know there had been anything there.

We couldn’t figure it out. Had it been colonized by another type of bird (which sometimes happens)? Had it been rejected by lady weavers? Was this another weaver  destroying the evidence of our neighbor’s work?

Steve thinks he might have figured it out. Later in the day he noticed a mongoose slinking around the base of the tree, directly under where that particular nest had hung. We’re wondering if the threat of the mongoose was enough to prompt our neighbor into such fury that he would destroy his own nest. What lady weaver would want to hatch her eggs directly over mongoose-territory?

It was sad to watch. He was so determined in building it, and so determined in pulling it apart. I don’t know what kinds of inner-lives birds have, but I know that they have them, and I couldn’t help wondering what was going through his mind as he went about his work. We’re hoping that he decides to build another one. Until then, here are some photos on lessons in impermanence:


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