Red-Billed Quelea Bird

Is the most populous bird in the world
Red-Billed Quelea Bird Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Quelea quelea
Red-Billed Quelea Bird Physical Characteristics
Brown, Red, Purple
Over 1 billion
2 years
Top speed
25 mph
1 ounce
Red-Billed Quelea Bird Distribition

The red- billed quelea is a tiny passerine kept in mind for its vivid plumes and brilliant red costs. It is additionally referred to as the weaver bird. It is a friendly bird that takes a trip in big groups of approximately 30 million participants. The bird is belonging to the below- Saharan area of Africa.

4 Outstanding Realities Regarding Red- Billed Quelea Bird

  • There are a lot more red- billed queleas than there are any type of various other birds worldwide.
  • Males develop the nests and utilize their nests to draw in females.
  • They eat half their body weight in lawn and seeds daily.
  • They are referred to as “Africa’s feathery locusts” due to the fact that they are so damaging to plants.

Quelea Scientific Name

Its scientific name is Quelea quelea The enunciation is KWEE- LEE- AH. Various other names for this bird are the weaver bird, red- billed weaver, or red- billed dioch.

There are 3 subspecies of the red- billed quelea:

  • Q. quelea quelea
  • Q. quelea aethiopica
  • Q. quelea lathamii

Quelea Appearance

A red- billed quelea is a tiny bird concerning the shapes and size of an ingest. It has to do with 5 inches long and normally considers simply under one ounce. It has a hefty, cone- designed costs that can vary from red to orange.

A lot of males have black masks, and a couple of have white masks. Around the mask, the plumes might be yellow, red, pink, or lavender. The bird’s top body has brownish and white plumes, and its trip plumes might be eco-friendly or yellow. The male sporting activities brilliant shades throughout the breeding period. Throughout non- reproducing periods, the costs might transform pink or orange.

Females additionally have red costs, however they do not have the face masks that males put on. As in many bird species, the males are a lot more vibrantly tinted than females.

Red-billed Quelea flock in a tree. These are highly social birds who congregate together in a flock.
Red- billed Quelea group in a tree. These are very social birds that gather with each other in a group.MartinMaritz/


Queleas are very social birds. They take a trip, nest, and feed in big groups referred to as swarms. These flying groups can get to 30 million birds or even more. With each other, they come down on ranch areas and eat lawn seeds.

When in their groups, they make a big noise brought on by hundreds of defeating wings. Both males and females sing, and their telephone call seems like they’re claiming, “Tweedle- toodle- tweedle.”

Quelea birds have actually been contrasted to locusts due to the fact that they eat seeds and grain plants. Farmers have actually attempted to manage them making use of various actions, however the birds remain to grow out of these efforts by duplicating in substantial numbers.

In 2021, these birds damaged numerous hundred acres of rice ranches in Uganda. One farmer reported that her plants were erased simply 3 weeks after the birds showed up.

Quelea Environment

The red- billed quelea is belonging to below- Saharan Africa, and it has a large distribution in the majority of the continent. It is bountiful in Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

This bird likes a completely dry, verdant atmosphere. It can be located in the shrub, meadow, and savannah areas.

Quelea Diet

Red- billed queleas are omnivores that eat lawn, seeds, and grain plants, consisting of wheat, rice, and corn. Amongst the plants they have actually been taped consuming are:

  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulrush (pearl millet)
  • Foxtail
  • Finger millet
  • Rice
  • Sorghum

When preparing to move, they supplement their diet with insects, which are greater in calories than seeds. The added calories provide the fat books they require to make the lengthy trip to warmer climate. They take a trip from 190 to 370 miles throughout their yearly movement.

They like to search for food in their indigenous environment of the woodland, scrubland, and meadow, however they will certainly attack human ranches when their food resources go out. Consequently, queleas are despised and been afraid by African farmers, specifically little- range farmers that can not manage costly approaches of bird control.

The birds are ravenous. They feed from dawn to sundown. As one professional located, the ordinary weaver bird can eat about half its body weight daily in grains, so 2 million gathering birds can eat 20 lots of grain in a solitary day.

Quelea Predators and Dangers

The quelea has lots of all-natural predators They consist of owls, snakes, squirrels, monkeys, foxes, lions, and leopards. All these animals and others feed upon the birds. Bird species that eat queleas consist of the tawny eagle and marabou stork.

Humans are additionally risks. Farmers attempt to shield their plants by damaging multitudes of quelea birds. Regardless of these initiatives to manage their population, the birds have a relentless existence in many African nations.

Many individuals in Africa additionally eat these birds, and much of them are captured and cost food at African markets each week.

Quelea Reproduction and Life Process

These birds reproduce communally, gathering with each other to share sources and nesting websites. They normally develop their nests in thorn trees, however they sometimes utilize sugar walking cane or various other plants. Their swarms can be big. A big nest in Zimbabwe, for example, had 10,000 nests per acre. Researchers additionally counted greater than 6,000 nests in one tree.

After the birds companion, the female lays her eggs in the nest. Each clutch can vary from 1 to 5 eggs, however it normally has 3. After 10 to 12 days, the nestlings arise from the eggs. They are birthed with white costs and hardly any type of plumes. Their eyes open up a couple of days later on. Both moms and dads feed the infants for around 10 days. Afterwards, the infants leave the nest and fly by themselves.

The hatchlings molt every couple of months. At 5 months, their plumage shades look like those of their moms and dads. They get to sex-related maturation in one year.

They live 2 to 3 years in the wild.


Unlike various other bird species, males take a leading duty in nest- structure tasks. Just males develop the nests, and they can take a couple of days to complete them. When the male coatings, he presents his vivid tuft and his nest to draw in females.

Quelea Population

With an approximated population of over 1.5 billion, the quelea is the globe’s most heavily populated bird. Wild animals professionals think there are even more of them than any type of various other bird species worldwide.

Conservation Status

The red-billed quelea is provided as “least concern” by the International Union for the Preservation of Nature (IUCN).


  1. CABI Invasive Species Compendium, Available here:
  2. The New Humanitarian, Available here:
  3. Zimbabwe Situation, Available here:
  4. The Website of Everything, Available here:

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