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There are 3 quelea species. They are small, short tailed, sexually dimorphic weavers with short conical bills. They have yellow edges to the wing feathers rather than buff as in most Euplectes species. Queleas are also unstreaked below, unlike non-breeding or female Euplectes species. Females are dull, while breeding males have red heads (2 species) or a mask (usually black, sometimes white).
Queleas occur in moist to arid grassland. All species are highly gregarious, being major granivorous pests on small grain crops, particularly in the case of the Red-billed Quelea. They are nomadic or migratory in most regions.
Queleas are colonial, and build small nests with the entrance near the top at the side.