The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red-billed Quelea

Afrikaans name: Rooibekkwelea

Red-billed Quelea

Photo © EcoView - Fotolia.com

Quelea quelea

The Red-billed Quelea is a well-known bird with a reputation for wiping out crops. They can be found in flocks, some of which are gigantic and can take hours to fly past.

These birds are found in sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa excluding the southern most portions of the country.

Queleas feed on seeds which can be from crops or from grasses. A large flock can flatten a field of grain in no time.

Flock of Red-billed Quelea

Photo © EcoView - Fotolia.com

Red-billed Queleas breed in colonies which may include millions of birds. The large concentration of chicks and eggs attracts many predators including birds of prey, herons, hornbills, snakes and many others.

References and further reading

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 200

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 46

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 344

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 65

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 182

World Birds - Author: Brian P. Martin - Published: 1987 - Page: 63

World Birds - Author: Brian P. Martin - Published: 1987 - Page: 180

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 121

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 422

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 388

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 729

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 730

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 571

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 562

Pollinators, Predators and Parasites - Author: C. Scholtz, J. Scholtz, H. De Klerk - Published: 2021 - Page: 213

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 27

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 308

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 434

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 404

LBJs - Author: Newman, Johnson, Solomon, Masterson - Published: 1998 - Page: 112

More Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P. Ginn & G. McIlleron - Published: 1981 - Page: 28

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 404

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 113

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 274

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 208

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 116

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 258

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 78

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 37

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 204

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 142

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 109

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 302

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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