Scientific Name: Ploceus philippinus
Baya Weavers are small-sized (15 cm) birds, known for their elaborately woven pendulous nests found hanging from palm fronds and low trees, typically near waterfronts. You would not miss spotting these birds at Art of Living Ashram in Bangalore, if you go near the lakes and small ponds in the ashram, especially duringthe breeding season in June-August.
The nests are built by the male bird during the breeding season, which coincides with the onset of monsoon. The female bird takes care of incubating the eggs and feeding the brood. The deft construction of the nests, with a central bulb-like nesting area and a long tube with entrance, makes it difficult even for snakes or other predators to enter the nest! The breeding season lasts for about three months and the abandoned nests are later occupied by other small birds such as Munias.
Identification: The breeding male Baya weaver has a bright yellow crown and a dark brown mask around the eye. The female bird and the male in their non-breeding plumage look alike, without the yellow crown or dark mask and resemble female house sparrows.
The birds are also known in various Indian languages such as Son-Chiri, Sugaran, Baya Chadei, Babui, Gijuga, Thukanam kuruvi etc.
Ramesh Iyer is an avid bird watcher, nature lover and photographer