Why is hay in the treetops?

Why is hay in the treetops?

Most of the ‘hay in the treetops’ are found in African countries, south of the Sahara. They are clumps of dry grass hanging from branches. What are they?

The mini clumps and balls of hay are bird nests. 

They are the nests of weaverbirds. Weaverbirds weave grass and leaves, usually dry grass, into small nests on the branches of trees.

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Madagascar Fody

The Madagascar Fody (Foudia madagascariensis) is a small bird in the Ploceidae family of weaver birds. It is also known as the Red Fody or the Red Cardinal Fody.

The male Madagascar Fody is bright red with black markings around each eye and on its wings. Its wings and tail are olive-brown. Its underbelly is red. The female is olive-brown with a greyish-brown underbelly. Both the male and female have a short black beak and pinkish legs. 

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Layard’s Village Weaver

The Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus) is a common small African bird. The Layard’s Weaver, or Layard’s Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus nigriceps) is primarily native to eastern Africa.

The Layard’s Village Weaver has a black head with a chestnut edge. Its body is yellow with black feathers. Its belly is yellow. Its legs are pink. It has a thick grey-black beak and red eyes.

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Reichenow’s Weaver

The Reichenow’s Weaver (Ploceus baglafecht reichenow) is a small bird in the Ploceidae family of weaver birds. It is also known as the Reichenow’s Baglafecht Weaver.

The Reichenow’s Weaver has a black mask from its beak to its eye and ear coverts. It has a bright yellow forehead, crown, and throat. Its upperparts are yellowish-green with dark streaks, and its underparts are bright yellow on its chest. Its tail is yellow and dark-brown. It has a black beak and pale-yellow eyes. The female does not have the black mask.

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White-Browed Sparrow Weaver

The White-Browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali melanorhynchus) is a common small brown bird found in eastern Africa. It is also found in southern Africa, especially in dry grasslands and woodlands.

The White-Browed Sparrow-Weaver has a broad, white eyebrow stripe, which gives it the name white-browed. The male has a black beak and the female has a light grey beak.

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