Which bird record does the red-billed quelea hold?

The red-billed quelea holds the record of being the world’s most abundant wild bird species. This weaver bird is found in tropical and subtropical Africa. It avoids forests. The female pin-tailed whydah could be mistaken for the red-billed quelea.

An estimated 1.5 billion red-billed quelea live in Africa today. The sparrow-sized birds flock together in such large groups they appear as clouds of smoke from a distance. They create tens of thousands of carefully woven nests in enormous colonies.

The red-billed quelea was first described in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus who mistakenly believed it had originated from India. It wasn’t until 1766 that its African origin was corrected.

This bird has a unique Roberts number of 821. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the red-billed quelea is also known as: common quelea, red-billed weaver, common dioch, black-faced dioch, Sudan dioch, weaver finch.

Africa’s red-billed quelea is known for building bizarre communal nests that may engulf entire trees. Descending on crops, these often too successful birds may strip fields bare within hours. While their impact raises concern, they play a crucial ecological role. As seed-eaters dispersing seeds over distances, they contribute to regenerating vegetation. Their nest colonies provide nesting opportunities for other bird species, promoting biodiversity. Despite challenges posed to agriculture, this species highlights the delicate balance between conservation and human livelihoods.

What do red-billed quelea eat?

The red-billed quelea is omnivorous, eating grass, seeds, cereal crops including wheat, rice, corn and barley. The red-billed quelea interbreeds with the red-headed quelea in captivity. The red-billed quelea is a small bird, approximately 12 cm long and weighing 15–26 g, with a heavy, cone-shaped red or orange-yellow bill. Over 75% of males have a black facial “mask”.

The species name for the red-headed quelea, Quelea erythrops, derives from the Greek words for “red” and “face”. The “locust bird” plague has been an indirect result of human exploitation of marginal land and large-scale grain cultivation. Controlling the quelea pest is by large-scale spraying of breeding or roosting areas with the chemical “Fenthion”.

The red-billed quelea is 0.62 oz in mass. The word “quelea” is pronounced “kwee-lee-uh”. The most common bird is the domestic chicken at 50 billion. Sparrows are native to Eurasia and North Africa but were introduced worldwide.

Queleas typically lay 2-3 small white eggs of around 18 mm. Wild queleas live 3-5 years, up to 10 years in captivity. Yes, queleas feed on grass seeds.

An estimated 1.5 billion red-billed quelea live in Africa. They flock in groups so large they appear as clouds of smoke. The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan at 12 feet. However, the red-billed quelea is likely the most common wild bird.

The red-billed quelea is also called the red-billed weaver or dioch. There are three recognized subspecies, all native to sub-Saharan Africa. They prefer thornveld, grasslands and cultivated areas with abundant grass. Their feeding ecology is important for assessing their impact on cereal crop development.

What is the behavior of the red-billed quelea?

The Red Billed Quelea is a small bird found in Africa. It ranges from Senegal to Ethiopia and south to South Africa. The Red Billed Quelea inhabits savannas, grasslands, and fields near water. Males and females look similar. Their feathers range in color from greyish to reddish, with some yellow or orange tones.

While flocking behavior is remarkable, it presents challenges for farmers. Red Billed Queleas have an appetite for cereal crops, like millet and sorghum. They have earned a reputation as one of the most destructive agricultural pests in Africa. This has led to efforts to control their population. Despite being pests, habitat loss due to deforestation and human activities poses a threat.

Understanding the life cycle provides insight into reproductive patterns and factors affecting population growth. During breeding season, males perform elaborate courtship displays, with vocalizations and aerial maneuvers, to attract females. Once bonded, pairs construct their nest together.

An estimated 1.5 billion Red-billed Quelea live in Africa, making them the most abundant wild bird. The sparrow-sized birds flock together in such large groups they appear as clouds of smoke from a distance. Their abundance, small size, and flocking behavior make them a unique species.

What are some interesting facts about the quelea?

Queleas are a major pest to small-grain cereal crops in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Despite efforts to control quelea populations, damage has continued to increase annually. During night roosts it’s not unusual for a whole tree to collapse under the sheer weight of numbers of the 20 g bird. On average, more than 500 birds will nest in one tree. However, the quelea is not only the world’s most abundant bird. It is also the world’s most significant avian agricultural pest. The crops which are particularly favoured by the quelea are wheat, sorghum, millet, and rice. On average, each bird consumes about 4 grams of seed per day. However, it also displaces another 8 grams during the feeding process. The most common way of controlling the pest is by large-scale spraying of infested areas, usually with a chemical called Fenthion. According to the Natural Resources Institute, a UK-based development group, some 170 control operations are executed in South Africa each year, killing 50 million birds on average. But, spraying is only marginally effective and often has serious negative environmental consequences.

Queleas breed in thorn-scrub country: every bush and tree for miles around may contain hundreds of their globular nests. Each pair has two or three young. The “locust bird” plague has been the indirect result of human exploitation of marginal land and large-scale cultivation of grains. Despite their reputation, queleas are an important part of the African ecosystem, playing a vital role in the food chain. They are an important food source for many predators, including birds of prey and mammals such as hyenas and jackals. In some parts of Africa, queleas are hunted for food, and their eggs are considered a delicacy.

The red-billed quelea is sister to a clade that consists of both remaining species of the genus Quelea. The genus belongs to the group of true weavers and is most related to Foudia. Thousands and thousands of red billed queleas flying up from the water in Zakouma National Park in Chad. Another level to explain the large flocks is their breeding biology. Quelea have relatively large clutches with four eggs fairly common. That’s a higher than average clutch size for similarly sized African birds.