Skip to Content

Rare sighting of a Red-billed Quelea

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 11:45 pm
Location: Pretoria, for now

Rare sighting of a Red-billed Quelea

Unread postby Bosnimf » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:22 pm

On 21 March we (me and my clients) were on our way from Letaba to Satara on the H1-4 close to the S127 when we saw this very rare sighting.
A Red-billed Quelea that was trapped in a Golden Orb's web.
We watched for 5 minutes, taking pictures when suddenly the bird came loose and flew away.
Very special sighting for us.

Special thanks to Andy Donald for the great photo.
There's never a reason to shout at someone unless they are in imminent danger!

User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:47 pm
Location: Eish !

Unread postby cybeR@NGER » Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:13 pm

macho mouse wrote:pleased the bird survived.

Designed to catch large flying insects, the web is slightly angled. It is not a perfect wheel and is usually off-centre. To make its web, the spider releases a thin thread into the wind. When it catches on something, the spider walks along it trailing a stronger non-sticky thread. It repeats the process in the centre of the line to form a strong Y-frame. Around this, it spins the rest of the web out of sticky capture silk.

The silk is so strong that it can trap small birds, which the spider doesn't eat. These trapped creatures often destroy the web by thrashing around. To avoid such damage, the spider often leaves a line of insect husks on its web (like the safety strip across glass doors!); or builds smaller barrier webs around the main web.


Great shot, Andy ! And thanks, bosnimf for sharing it with us :thumbs_up:
Life is uncertain - eat your dessert first.

Return to “Travel Tales”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: naomi c and 8 guests