Building the nest: taveta golden weavers
If there’s any species in the animal kingdom that knows about high-stakes home building, it’s taveta golden weavers.
Taveta golden weavers are small, bright yellow birds found in eastern Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) that live in colonies and are well known for building very elaborate nests. The males, who are a brighter yellow with dark orange on their head and chest, will use their strong claws and beak to weave hanging nests from long grasses. The nests are created by a male wrapping grasses around branches and weaving everything together for a very secure oval nest. These birds are very acrobatic and will even hang upside down as they weave everything together!
Taveta weavers can build their intricate nests in just a few days. Once their nests are complete, females in the colony will assess them and will mate with the most skilled male that built the best one. The males are also known to mate with multiple females. After choosing a suitable nest and mate, the female will line the inside with softer materials, like grass or feathers, before laying 2-3 eggs. The female will incubate these eggs for around 13 days, and will feed the chicks mostly insects. At 14-16 days old, the chicks will be ready to leave the nest!