Is safari for the birds? You betcha!

Written by Thomson Safaris

Tanzania is home to an abundance of stunning birds. Many of our guests return with a new-found appreciation for birds after observing their beauty and behaviors on safari.

One of our favorite feathered friends is the Masked Weaver. Theses songbirds measure about 5” in length and have a black face (or a mask). Their bright yellow body contrasts vividly against the green of the woodlands where they make their home.

Weavers have a fascinating mating ritual; in fact the female weavers exhibit what we might call diva behavior! As part of the ritual, male weavers construct (or weave) an elaborate nest made from grasses and twigs suspended from tree branches. The nests include a single entrance towards the bottom of the structure to limit predator’s access to the interior.

Once they are completed, the nests are presented to the females, who thoroughly inspect the craftsmanship to determine its durability and security. The females are a difficult lot to impress – often times, they reject the nest, which forces the males to abandon their work and start a new structure.

Once a nest is approved, the female lines the inside the interior with feathers and lays her eggs. The male weaver goes on to build more nests to attract his next mate.

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Masked weaver builds his nest. Thanks to Thomson Safaris guests for providing this footage.
Videographer: Linda Fosseen / Editor: John Fosseen