Sand Rivers

Red-Billed Quelea

25 October 2011

Recently, dark fast moving clouds have been starting to appear on the horizon in the Selous, these dark clouds dodge and weave around trees, appear upwards out of the ground as if from nowhere, they are of course large flocks of Red-Billed Quelea.

Some estimate the total population of this small passerine to be over 10 billion. They occur in Sub Saharan Africa, traveling in large flocks that can take up to 5 hours to pass you by. Feeding in the morning and evenings they can have a devastating effect on farmer crops, clear fields in minutes. Control action has been taken to protect the farmers and up to 180 billion have apparently been killed over the years, this has had little or no effect to their population, sometimes effecting other innocent bird populations in the process.

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