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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red-billed Quelea

Afrikaans name: Rooibekkwelea

Red-billed Quelea

Photo © EcoView -

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.

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

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

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

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

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 109

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

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

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

List of South African Birds

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