While on the golf course one day, I found this incredible nest. It was no ordinary nest, cup-shaped and simple. This was a full grassy dome, with a woven entrance big enough to call a foyer. I was impressed. Thinking back to the birds I saw that day, I did some searching to see if I could figure out who made it, and the clues led me to the Estrildid finches, a.k.a. the weaver-finches. We have several species here, all alien and all similar in body design and behavior, though the plummage can vary quite a bit. I have featured two that I commonly see, the Chestnut Munia and the Common Waxbill. Another is the Java finch, which I have highlighted in a previous post. They're flockers that favor seeds and grains; you'll often see them in fields and grassy areas where they land on the stalks, bending them over so they can scamper to the fallen seed heads and eat their fill with their thick and pointy bills. Insects may be eaten to supplement the diet. Nests are constructed in tall grasses or low in dense shrubs and trees, and the Common Waxbill male will sometimes build a roughly crafted nest on top of the main nest, where he sleeps. Broods of five to ten chicks are raised. Interestingly, the nestlings of most species of Estrildid finches have distinctive mouth markings: patterns that can be seen when the chicks engage in food-begging. While scientists are studying why these patterns are distinct, it certainly can't hurt to make the gullets more visual. And if the parents can see it, they can seed it.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.