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March 19 2013

World's largest nests are socialist bird collectives


NO, IT'S not a giant haystack - it's an example of one of the largest structures constructed by birds.

Sociable weavers (Philetairus socius) build huge communal nests - multistorey apartment complexes - from sticks and grass. The structures last for decades, sometimes over 100 years. Multiple families live together and even help raise each other's young; you could call them socialist weavers, though that might bring to mind a collective of 19th-century Lancashire textile workers.

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