Philetairus – Sociable weaver

The bird with the gigantic heritage nest

This tiny fellow from Africa has a scaly pattern on its back and flanks. It is a brown bird with a sandy rump and a prominent bib. A resident of an open arid region, related to Kalahari from South Africa, is distributed across NW South Africa, S to SW Botswana, and parts of Namibia.

They enjoy grains and insects hopping around on the ground; nestlings are strictly nourished with insects. Unlike most other birds, their nests are permanent, huge, and can house more than a hundred families passed on to future generations. Breeding is entirely dependent on rainfall; multiple broods are raised per year.