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Red-billed Quelea flocks

2018-08-21 (824)
On 20 Nov 2017 I was on farm Swebe-Swebe in Limpopo Province watching vast flocks of quelea flying into their roost in extensive reedbeds along a river. As I was videoing and watching in amazement, I pondered how many quelea there could be in this roost, coming from the surrounding savanna. Compact flocks seemed to contain tens to hundreds of birds each in a never-ending stream. A screen shot from the video allowed me to estimate a conservative 300 birds per second passing, so in one hour that comes to about a million quelea. No wonder this is considered the most numerous bird on the planet!

Red-billed Quelea flocks arriving at roost at dusk. The first clip shows a raptor flying above the flock but not able to single out a bird. The second clip shows birds veering out from the stream to settle in the reeds and trees along the river, while the rest continue to settle some distance away.

All news items relating to this species

The headers below refer to Weaver News items featuring this species. Click on a header to see the News item, which includes the full news item. (The number in brackets is the date that the news item appeared on Weaver Watch).

Red-billed Quelea flocks (2018-08-21)
Weaver Wednesday 3 [253] - Range changes [16]: Red-billed Quelea (2017-04-19)
Quelea ringing at Vyevlei, 4-6 March 2016 (2016-03-08)
PAPER (breeding): Red-billed Quelea breeding record (2015-09-15)
Ringing Red-billed Quelea in the Worcester area, 6 Sept 2015 (2015-09-10)
Quelea ringing at Vyevlei, 20-22 Feb 2015 (2015-02-27)
Africa's bird pest (2014-11-24)
Weaver Wednesday [122] - Discovery [5]: Red-billed Quelea (2014-10-15)
PAPER: Using quelea as food (2014-07-07)
Quelea near Malmesbury, 18-19 Jan 2014 (2014-01-21)
PAPER: Quelea, a pest on sorghum (2013-12-02)
PAPER: Quelea cestodes (2013-11-11)
THESIS: Attitudes toward Red-billed Queleas (2013-08-05)
PAPER: Ultrasonic bird repeller (2013-03-04)
PAPER: Quelea predator (2012-10-15)
Weaver Wednesday [11]: Red-billed Quelea (2012-08-29)
PAPER: Red-billed Quelea plumages (2012-08-06)
Red-billed Quelea sets the alarm bells ringing in the "Southern Cape" (2012-04-23)
PAPER: Estimating Bird Damage to Rice (2012-04-15)
Red-billed Quelea longevity (2012-01-09)
Red-billed Quelea midday roosts (2011-12-26)
View quelea range expansion in W Cape (2011-08-08)
Africa's feather locust is both an adder and a mulitplier (2011-06-24)
PAPER: Eagle predation on quelea colony (2011-02-23)
PAPER: Unique Quelea predator (2010-09-15)
PAPER: Wintering ecology - Lesser Spotted Eagles and Red-billed Quelea (2010-06-12)
Red-billed Quelea sighting (2010-05-25)
PAPER: Quelea lice (2010-04-07)
PAPER: Red-billed Quelea irruption (2009-12-13)
Red-billed Quelea flies 1735 km just to be eaten! (2009-12-04)
Birds and Environmental Change (2009-11-12)
Cape Argus reports on Red-billed Quelea in the Western Cape (2009-04-30)
First breeding record of the Red-billed Quelea near Worcester (2009-04-22)
Quelea recovery (2009-04-09)