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Nest-building with white-headed buffalo weavers

Hello, my name is Angie, and I’m a Seasonal Bird Keeper here at Zoo Atlanta. It finally seems like the warmer weather will be sticking around. What does that mean for the Bird Team? Nest-building! Right now many of our bird species are building nests and getting ready to lay their eggs.

One of the sets of birds in my care are white-headed buffalo weavers. These birds are from Africa and they build a very elaborate nest. They gather together sticks first to create a thorny, protective outer wall. Then they add grass and pine needles to build a large, many-roomed nest with an entrance on the bottom.

Once the nest is complete the female will lay between two and four eggs which are greenish blue with brown speckles. After 11 to 14 days, the chicks will hatch. Both parents will help rear the new chicks. After three weeks the chicks will fledge from their nest.

White-headed buffalo weavers eat insects, fruit and seeds. In the wild, they frequently follow African buffalo, eating the insects the buffalo displace. Along with their elaborate nest-building, this is how they received their name.

The white-headed buffalo weaver is only one of the species of birds busy nest building and egg laying. So turn off that TV, put down your phone and take a look outside in your backyard or the neighborhood park, or, even better, come on down to Zoo Atlanta and you may see some of this action yourself.
Angie Turner
Seasonal Keeper, Birds

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl