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Red-billed Quelea

Red-billed Quelea
origin:Unforested sub-Saharan Africa
life expectancy:3 years
scientific name:Quelea quelea
family:Ploceidae
dimensions:0 to 13 cm
compatibility: goodsinging ability: good
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History [ edit ]

The Red-billed Quelea is the specie most numerous in the wild. They are regarded in their native territory, the savannas and grasslands of Africa, as a pest. Despite their large numbers in the wild, in captivity it is rarely bred successfully.

The Red-billed Quelea is a gregarious bird, leaving in very large flocks. They are nomadic birds with very predictable migratory patterns in some regions. At distance the large flocks, of thousand or even millions of individuals seem a massive dust storm. These birds prefer seeds of wild grasses to crops, but due to their numerous flocks, even a small percentage of those in their diets mean a lot of damage to the farmers. International programs were created to manage the specie population.

The difficulty of breeding these birds in captivity has its origin in this gregarious trait of them. Red-billed Queleas need the company of the flock to stimulate breeding activity. However, pairs form strong bonds indicating that they are monogamists.

Red-billed Queleas are part of the weavers group, so called because of the shape of their nests.  
editing: History [ close ]
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