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Saturday, September 1, 2012


Sinhalese : VADU-KURULLA
RECOGNITION—Length about 5.2 inches ; sexes alike, except when breeding, when crown in males becomes bright shining yellow-gold; distinguishable by its streaked, brown sparrow-like plumage with yellow line over eye and behind ear.

Two weavers are common, locally, in the lowland: the Baya, with his yellow breast, witch nest in colonies in trees and palms near paddy fields and grass jungles, and the present species which is invariably associated with large rush and reed beds in or near water. When not breeding, both species collect in to flocks and live largely on paddy and seeds; but as they feed their young exclusively on Grasshoppers, grubs and various insect and larvae, they probably, on balance, do more good than harm to paddy cultivation, They fly fast and low, like flocks of common Sparrows.

 DISTRIBUTION—Common locally, around suitable tanks and marshes, throughout the lowland; the commerner Baya occurs also in the hills to 3500 ft. Both species are abundant locally, in India and further East.

NESTING—Both species nest in colonies during March/April and August/September but also at other times of year. The Baya weaves a large retort shaped nest of grass, suspended by a short, woven neck from the end of an outer twig about 20 feet up in a bushy tree and finishes the entrance with a tube to 18 inches in length. The striated Weaver, however, suspends his nest of strips of rush-leaf from the bentover tops of 15 or more rush-stemps, while the entrance tube is only some 3 inches long. The male bird weaves most of the nest, singing lustily, and so attract the female to join him and to complete with him the unlined nest. Generally both species lay two, sometimes three, glossless white eggs measuring abouth 20.3 X 14.3 mm.

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