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The monsoons are here, finally. There have been several false starts this year, with rains starting in May and then disappearing for the whole month of June. Here in India, where most of our agriculture and farming depends on the timely and adequate monsoon rains, it is downright scary to have sunny days and blue skies in June.

Even all of nature is agog and waiting for the rains at the end of summer. After the early rains , the weaver birds had started to build their nests enthusiastically. They are curious and complicated structures woven from strips of grass and coconut fronds, and attached to the high fronds of the coconut leaves. They even have false entrances to fool a snake ! In early June there is a lot of fighting and shrill arguments between the males for the choicest locations , and then a lot of to do as the crafty nests are constructed from scratch. The dull grey coloured females oversee the nest building, checking out the different nests on offer. They only mate with a male whose nest they like.

This year, nest builing had started earlier than usual as the pre monsoon showers arrived early and in great force. However, in the intervening sunny month the half built nests were all abandoned. Now, as the monsoon has turned up in strength atlast , the Baya (weaver) returned and took charge of his nest, replenishing the dry straw with fresh green strips of grass.


A weaver bird rebuilds his  abandoned nest

A weaver bird rebuilds his abandoned nest