Skip to Content

Quelea, Red-billed

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:42 am

Not sure what the population was when the book was written, but at the moment there are 7 billion people on earth. So if there were to be 300 million for every person, my calculations would point to something in the region of 2100 billion birds/human.

The Red-billed Quelea makes up more than half of Kruger's total avian mass.

Mind boggling.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 46726
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: Across the Equator, otherside the Atlantic

Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:01 pm

The numbers I have read have always stuck with me as being a massive amount of birds. For sake of info here, from the book 'Prime Origins guide to best birding in Kruger' published 2005 and on page 146 is the following:

There are more Red-billed Queleas on earth than any other bird. Roberts VII estimate there are 1500 billion birds in the world. That's about 300 million birds for every human on the planet. Unsurprisingly, there are more Red-billed Queleas in Kruger than any other species, with an estimated 33.5 million moving seasonally in and around the Park. They account for 50% of the avian biomass in Kruger, moving in flocks of up to a million birds that nest en masse in acacia trees with between 50 and 3000 nests per tree.
Sawubona
Dalene

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2621
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:03 pm

OK, I see where the confusion comes from... I looked it up and you are right: Roberts (our bird bible) VII claims the global population to be 1 500 000 000 000 (1500 billion) birds. However, the IUCN Red List web site (and Birdlife International) do not list a population size, rather stating: The global population size has not been quantified.

The Avian Web thinks 1.5 billion is right, as does the BBC

Wiki has 10 billion as the right figure!

"The Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) is the world's most abundant wild bird species, with an estimated adult breeding population of 1.5 billion pairs.[2] Some estimates of the overall population have been as large as 10 billion."

I'd love to know which is clostest to the truth as there is a 1000-fold difference between some of these figures, all from "reliable" sources! :lol:

Apologies to the Mouse for casting doubt on her take on the population size of Red-billed Queleas. :gflower:
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2621
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:28 am

Being uncomfortable with inaccuracies such as presented by the population estimates for the quelea I thought my bird-ringing mentor and South Africa's leading authority on weavers, Dieter Oschadleus would be able to provide some guidance... He writes:

Understanding the biology of the quelea may help understand the difficulty of estimating quelea population size. For instance, many large colonies breed in inaccessible areas in Africa and the numbers breeding in different years would be different, based on environmental conditions. Because the global population is high, it is possible for there to be occasional large fluctuations in total numbers in different years or time periods (in addition to the inaccuracy of any estimates).

The short answer is that there are lots of quelea and all methods of population estimates are fraught with assumptions.

For total population, take your pick!


:hmz:
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
Petro Rossouw
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Petro Rossouw » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:10 pm

Can somebody please assist in identifying these birds? They were in abbundance at Ngwenya Lodge feeding on the seeds we put out.

Image
IMG_8486 by Petro Rossouw, on Flickr
Lower Sabie 1st to 10th October 2012

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2621
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:00 pm

Petro Rossouw wrote:Can somebody please assist in identifying these birds? They were in abbundance at Ngwenya Lodge feeding on the seeds we put out.


Red-billed quelea, females...
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
sarafl
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby sarafl » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:00 am

Hello. I am having trouble identifying some of the birds I saw in May/June in Kruger. Any assistance in identification is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

1. ???
Image

User avatar
hilda
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2014)
Posts: 15762
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Pretoria SA

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby hilda » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:48 am

Hi Sarafl,

I'm going to try my hand at this, but please, I'm a novice as far as bird IDs are concerned. I would, however, like to see whether I am right or wrong when an expert ID these for you. Here goes:

1. Female Red-billed Quelea
VHR Fundraiser: Potjiekos Competition: Far Schools Project
20 - 22 October 2015 - Satara
23 - 26 October 2015 - Biyamiti
27 - 29 October 2015 - Talamati
Return back home on 30 October 2015.

Ladybirder
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:09 pm

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Ladybirder » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:29 am

Sarafl and Hilda :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Red-billed Queleas in the non breeding status they both Male and female have red bills the female in breeding has a yellow bill .

User avatar
sarafl
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby sarafl » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Hilda and Ladybirder thank you very much!

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4219
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:15 pm

Not 100% sure on this one. Is it a female (or nonbreeding male) shaft-tailed whydah? Seen at Mapungubwe in late October 2014.

Image

Image
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2621
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:46 am

Red-billed quelea
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4219
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:12 pm

Thanks JvR, I'd overlooked those :redface:
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4219
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:48 pm

But I'm wondering about these females seen with him, since from the illustrations in my Newman's, the LTPW females should have a dark bill ... so I've no clue what these might be?

Image

Someone else's females (the shaft-tailed whydah females have pink/red bills)? Or redbilled quelea? Very confusing! :whistle:
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2621
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:04 pm

These are also non-breeding males... Just RBQs; their females have ochre coloured bills.
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”