Posts Tagged 'thorn'

baya weavers nesting

Posted by on 04 Sep 2016 | Category: photography, prakriti

It is nesting season for the baya weavers!

Baya weaver birds are small, sparrow-size birds which resemble the sparrows during the non-breeding season. During May-June, as the breeding season approaches, their gonads (sexual glands) become active and the adult males develop yellow and black color plumage on head, breast and throat; and their bills also darken. By the time the monsoon starts, the males are in bright yellow summer colors, and ready for breeding through the monsoon season (June-September).

baya weaver nest building

Why do they breed during the summer monsoon? Obviously, the grass is green during this side of the monsoon! Baya weavers forage in flocks for seeds on wild grass like these below, which are plenty after the monsoon rains. This is also the time when insects are plenty, especially to feed their young. How many bayas can you count in the image below?!

a group of baya weaver birds feeding on grass seeds

Nesting success? Baya weaver nests are exclusively built by the males and then displayed to the females. What are the factors on which the female makes it selection? Among birds, elaborate nests and decorations built by males may help females to assess a male’s quality. One of the most popular architectural attributes of the weaver nest is the entrance tube, which can get as long as 90 cm. Female birds are also selective in choosing nests which provides safety (in terms of nest height and location). So what does the baya weaver base their selection on? Is it the architecture or the location?

baya weaver nest building at Pune, Maharashtra

Safer on thorny trees: Observation shows that the female weavers are inclined towards nests which are safely located in thorny trees, farther away from the trunk and situated high above the ground. Thornless trees have higher rates of snake predation than thorny trees. Nesting success also increases with with thickness of the supporting branch and for nests which are woven with fine fiber.  Thick branches may stabilize nests during strong monsoon winds, and may also be less likely to break.

baya weaver and a garden lizard against the blue sky

Despite these precautions, garden lizards like the one above, and tree mouse do occasionally raid these nests.

Some history: Baya weavers and their unique nesting nature were first recorded in Ain-i-Akbari, the 16th-century document recording the administration of Akbar’s empire, and which is part of the a much larger document, the Akbarnama. The Volume III translation by Colonel H. S. Jarret talks about wild/domesticated bayas: “The baya is like a wild sparrow but yellow. It is extremely intelligent, obedient and docile. It will take small coins from the hand and bring them to its master, and will come to a call from a long distance. Its nests are so ingeniously constructed as to defy the rivalry of clever artificers.”

Species: Ploceus philippinus
English: Baya weaver
Location: IITM colony, Pune, Maharashtra
Date: 3 Sep 2016

References:
1. Balasubramanian, K. S., & Saxena, R. N. (1973). Effect of pinealectomy and photoperiodism in the reproduction of Indian weaver birds, Ploceus philippinus. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 185(3), 333-340.
2. Fazl, A., & Jarrett, H. S. (1983). The Ain-i-Akbari:. Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. (No. 61).

3. Quader, S. (2006). What makes a good nest? Benefits of nest choice to female Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus). The Auk, 123(2), 475-486.

life is strange

Posted by on 15 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Ha ha, how I went from a simply easy going, fun/life loving person into a thorny, life hating obsessive jerk!
No more! No more!
I understand that if I didn’t stand for myself, no one would. Life has taught me so many things these days.

from I care to who cares? I don’t know, but,, I’ve understood that I’ve been too open myself,, too open about my ideas, my emotions,,,,whatever they are, that it hurt too many people.

I also understood that love could hurt as well, even lead to death.

Life is strange, but that strangeness is my adventure; I take it into my stride.
I’ll get the diamond from the snake’s cranium.

14 Oct, 2002

that strangeness is my adventure,,

a bunch of bleeding roses

Posted by on 15 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

price was 2 pounds
but it’s love which counts
a bunch of roses i bought
red roses
charming, gleaming with passion

her eyes caught the roses
its beauty was enhanced in those glowing eyes
i saw more of them than i saw her, in her eyes
i was such proud of my roses
the roses that sketched my own love

but she
she took them in her hands
she talked to me, twisting the bunch in her hands
petals came one by one
she found fun in flying them
in the breeze that passed by
a thorn caught her hand
and she looked at me with anger
–she threw them away
my roses–

a stampede of human feet came
crushing the roses into the mud
the petals of love
the petals of love
the fragrance of love
the beauty of love
the silence of love
all diminished into mere dirt
there they lie kissing the earth
wetting it in red blood
____ my heart was in those roses_

skeleton of poetry writing, CMS college, 2000