With the true weavers of Africa and the New World oropendolas, caciques, and orioles, bird nest-building reaches its most majestic form. Using gymnastic maneuvers, formidable binding, and knots worthy of a sailor in the Royal Navy, these birds create hanging nests that are both strong and flexible. Here, an African weaver straddles its woven swing midway through construction.
In North America, the Baltimore oriole of the East and the Bullock's oriole of the West can use tens of thousands of stitches in each nest. The female is the primary builder, using her head and beak as a rapid-fire shuttle in the weaving of her avian home, although the male protectively follows her everywhere and sometimes lends a beak, contributing plant fibers or strips of vine or bark.