Just like in human settlements where inhabitants organise communal labours to address certain challenges that their community faces,
News men have discovered huge communal nests built by the Social Weavers (Philetairus socius) of southern Africa that can contain hundreds of birds.
Odditycentral.com reported that the nests are so large that even mature trees on which they are built are not strong enough to hold them.
The news portal said the communal nests are divided into several chambers and some of the chambers are spacious enough to accommodate up to four birds. In special cases of breeding, two bird share a chamber.
Researchers say some of the communal nests outlive several generations of birds and are renovated by new generations for their own benefits and for the next after them.
Because the nests are communal in nature and purpose, the birds create one major entrance and others that are designed and positioned in such a way that predators are hardly able to invade the nests to cause disturbance to the birds.
A biologist at the University of Miami, Gavin Leighton said “It has been documented that pygmy falcons will sometimes eat social weavers, which is kind of a depressing thought, because social weavers are building and maintaining this giant apartment complex, and then a predator moves in and starts eating them.”
The social Weavers “utilize several different building materials, starting with a basic structure of woven twigs. They then line the interior with grasses and feathers and construct a 10-inch long, one-inch wide private entrance with downward pointing spiky straws to deter snakes.
“Each structure can weigh over a ton, and range upwards of 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall, with over a hundred separate nesting chambers. Successive generations refurbish and reuse these compartments, often for more than a century,” according to odditycentral.com.
Gavin Leighton told Wired Magazine that “I think the nighttime temperature was 30 or 35, and the temperature inside the chamber with three or four birds in it was 70 or 75 degrees Fahrenheit. So, there’s this really huge thermal benefit to staying in these giant nests.”