Written by Jeff Harrisberg
While photographing dozens of village weavers building nests on a single acacia tree near Bela Bela, my attention was drawn to a loud commotion in one corner of the tree. It became clear that the weavers had spotted a female Diederik cuckoo trying to get inside one of the nests.
What happened over the next few seconds was amazing to photograph as the male weavers mobbed the female cuckoo and launched a violent attack on her by hanging onto her and pecking at the part of her body protruding from the nest in a desperate endeavour to pull her out.
They proved to be successful on this occasion as they managed to prevent her from laying her egg in the chosen nest. As the cuckoo made her escape, her rapidly laid egg was seen to fall out of the nest sealing the failed attempt at parasitisation.