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Southern masked weaver, Southern masked weavers – Africa’s most widespread weaver – are true artisans, creating distinct dome nests that hang suspended in trees. To build such an abode, the male selects a suitable branch, strips it of any leaves, then knots a long, thin blade of grass around it (no easy task when using just your beak and feet).<br />
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From this he weaves a sturdy hoop, continuing to thread, knot and plait until his construction resembles a neat oval dome. The whole process takes about five days, and the more experienced the weaver, the more intricate and attractive the results.<br />
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When he is finished, the male advertises the residence to potential mates with fluttering wings and song, but females are picky and select only the freshest, finest abodes. Indeed a male may have to build several before a partner is satisfied enough to move in, lining the nest herself before laying her eggs.