The Giant Communal Bird Nests of Sociable Weavers


Sociable Weavers (Philetairus socius) are a species of bird endemic to Southern Africa. They are best known for their gigantic communal nests, which are not only a rarity, but also the largest built by any bird. The nests, designed for year-round usage, can house up to 100 families, totaling 300-400 birds. Some nests have even remained occupied for over 100 years!
Not unlike a bee’s honeycomb, the communal nest consists of different chambers, entrances and tunnels. They are made of various materials like twigs, dry grasses, straw and soft plant material. The sociable weavers build these massive communal nests for a variety of reasons:


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