It is the chirping birds that will welcome you into the Chandyathil House. Surprise! The chirpings are not coming from any cage, but the nests hanging in a row all around the house.
It is not just George Chandyathil and his family who stay at the Chandyathil House. It is home for more than 70 odd baya weaver birds (aattakili in Malayalam) who roost on the 11 different nests hanging from the hooks fixed to the ceiling of the house.
How it all began
It all started three years back. George Chandyathil, one who had been always fascinated by birds, was more than happy to see a baya weaver couple moving into the tree at his courtyard. The intricate nest of the baya weaver couple aroused curiosity in George. He was not the only person who was attracted b y the nest, a murder of crows destroyed it.
George was deeply saddened by this, but he was not ready to let it go. He tried rebuilding the nest. Reluctant at first, the bird couple came back to the nest he rebuilt. They laid eggs there, yet it was not time for the happy ending; more trouble crawled in. A snake ate up the eggs.
George and his family kept guard; ensuring that the nest was safe.
George and his family set up a camera to watch the nest. Once they were sure that there was no more trouble, the birds returned. They started building nests around sunshade of the house. George did some research and discovered that the birds loved ficus plants. He had some planted around the house. The birds have made nests in the ficus plants now.
No special care
George said that there was no need for any special care for the birds. However, the family - Cici, George's wife, their son Arath Yakob George - keeps an eye out to ensure their safety.