Nesting Behaviour of the Baya Weaver Bird, Ploceus philippinus (Linnaeus) (Passeriformes: Ploceidae) in Rural Tamil Nadu, India

Mohanathan Pandian, Preston Ahimaz


This paper pertains to the nesting habits of Ploceus philippinuswith specific reference to nesting-related habitats, populations, nest-supporting plants, nests, stages of development of nests and their orientation in rural Tamil Nadu. A total of 4273 nests (including complete and varying developmental stages of incomplete nests) and 4476 birds were observed on 270 plants belonging to 13 species, 13 genera, and 10 families. The highest number of nests (3550) and birds (3752) occurred on Borassus flabellifer Linnaeus (Arecaceae), followed by Cocos nucifera Linnaeus (Arecaceae) and Phoenix sylvestris (Linnaeus) Roxburgh (Arecaceae). Ploceus philippinus appeared to prefer building nests on the male trees of B. flabellifer in particular. When analyzing the proportions of potential nest-supporting trees with the total number of similar trees present within 200 m radius from the trees bearing nests in the study area, the preference pattern was B. flabellifer, followed by C. nucifera, and P. sylvestris. Among the various stages of nests observed on these plants, 30.5% nests were at complete nest stage, 30.06% were at the helmet stage, 18.74% at egg-chamber completed stage, 7.32% at wad stage, 5.1% at ring stage, and 2.24% were abnormal nests. The maximum number (88.6%) of nests was oriented towards east, i.e., facing the rising sun. Ploceus philippinus preferred to colonize and build nests on plants which were located in proximity to power lines, roads, buildings, and human settlements.


Abnormal Nests; Borassus flabellifer; Cocos nucifera; Phoenix sylvestris; Nest-building; Nest Orientation; Nest Types


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