Spiders In South Africa Are Spinning Webs So Strong They’re Catching Birds

Golden Orb Weaving Spider

iStockphoto / Nilanka Sampath

Few things in life are as startling as walking through a spider web.

One moment you’re just lumbering along without a care in the world and the next you are jumping up and down and feverishly ripping at your body to try and get the web off all while having no clue if the spider’s on your body or not. It is ALARMING.

And at the risk of anthropomorphizing our human fear of spiders to birds, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that birds experience similar emotions when they get trapped in a spider web. Or, at the very least, they experience whatever it is that birds go through when they sense a threat.

Furthermore, I didn’t even know that spiders were capable of catching birds in webs until this footage below. Recent videos shared on LatestSightings from Olifants West Game Reserve in northeast South Africa near the Mozambique border show birds getting caught by spiders.

These Golden Orb Weaving Spiders weave webs so strong the blue waxbill (bird) is caught and unable to escape from the web. It is worth noting that the spider in the first video is quickly running away from the much larger bird, so it IS possible the bird made it away after these clips.


According to Latest Sightings, the ideal time to spot these Golden Orb Weaving Spider webs in South Africa is the (SA) Summer from November to March.

As for these incredibly powerful webs, here’s what Latest Sightings has to say about their construction:

So how do they create such strong webs? The process begins with the spider producing a liquid silk solution from their abdomen. This solution hardens when it comes into contact with air, allowing the spider to spin a web. The spider then uses its hind legs to pull the silk strands tight and create a strong, intricate web. The silk they produce is also resistant to UV light, making it ideal for outdoor use.

Curious to learn more about the Golden Orb Weaving Spider? Here are some random facts about these remarkable spiders:

The video calls out that these Golden Orb Spiders are capable of catching birds “and even snakes” which would be quite the sight to see in the woods.

For information on how to properly identify a Golden Orb Weaving Spider, visit this article from the Australian Museum.

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