Sughra Raza. Lesser Weaver Nests, Akagera National Park, Rwanda. 2018.
“For the lesser masked weavers of Africa, evolution has provided a critical mass. The males weave elaborate nests, that resemble pendulous, open-weave baskets, hanging one by one from slender branches.
As the males work, the females judiciously assess their progress. A great deal of skill and industry goes into each nest: the weave must be of the right tightness and elasticity otherwise the eggs will slide out.
When the nest is finished and ready for judging, the male perches hopefully beside it. A messy, disorganised nest, and its designer, will be rejected. The better examples are given a stern and thorough examination, including an interior inspection. If the female approves, she immediately moves in. Thus she ensures that the standards of nest building among lesser masked weavers will remain very high.”