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Quelea, Red-billed

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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expat
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Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread postby expat » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:45 am

Thanks Lizet - will now carry on swotting!
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Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Marx » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:04 pm

On a recent trip to Kruger I was amazed at the number of Red-Billed Queleas around LS and Satara! :big_eyes: One afternoon we witnessed a flock of Red-Billed Queleas which flew over hed for about 5minutes!
Can these birds become a plague or have they been like this always!

Marx!

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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:19 pm

From "Best Birding in Kruger" by Brett hilton Barber and Lou Berger...

"There are more RBQs on earth than any other bird. Roberts estimates that there are 1 500 billion birds in the world. That is about 300 million for every human. There are more RBQs in Kruger than any other species, with an estimated 33,5 million birds moving seasonaly 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 50-3000 nests per tree.. "
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby normana53 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:06 pm

MM,
:big_eyes: 33.5 million? :shock: That's a lot of birds!I have seen huge flocks of ducks in the thousands, but can't imagine that many birds together. When do they arrive at Kruger?
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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:16 pm

Normana.. more from the birder man: :wink:

"Watching RBQs feed is like watching a Mexican wave at a football crowd. The birds descend in their thousands on the ground, with the flock taking on a "roller feeding movement" in which the flocks at the back continually hop over the ones in front to get the food."

When I watch them I am reminded of a shoal of fish where one fish turns and the whole shoal turns in one syncronised ballet movement.. it is amazing. In March the trees are thickly laded as they prepare to leave. I have seem bushes completely covered by these very tiny little birds.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:19 pm

They are always there, mostly in small flocks. But the concentrate in areas of food abundance. So when there is i.e. good grass seeds available in an area, you will find millions.

This is one of the species that has thrived on human society. Our mono crop agriculture has boosted their numbers considerably. They are considered a major agricultural pest, and has been subjected to major reduction programs ... with little or no success. They have been poisoned, blown up in their sleeping sites, shot ... no success!
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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:22 pm

We have a special place we go to, next to the Olifants river. There is some nice reeds where these birds sleep. You will see flock after flock of birds arrive before sunset, and disappear in to the reeds ... the only sign of them ... the singing increases as thousands upon thousands arrive, every few minutes. Magic ...

Then when it gets gloomy ... sudden silence!
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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Moira de Swardt » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Meandering Mouse wrote:From "Best Birding in Kruger" by Brett hilton Barber and Lou Berger...

"There are more RBQs on earth than any other bird. Roberts estimates that there are 1 500 billion birds in the world. That is about 300 million for every human. There are more RBQs in Kruger than any other species, with an estimated 33,5 million birds moving seasonaly 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 50-3000 nests per tree.. "



The Roberts Bird Guide (Kruger National Park) by Hugh Chittenden and Ian Whyte agrees with your souce. It estimates that there are 33 million queleas in the Kruger in good years (wet) and in drought years this number drops. I certainly saw lots of them this year.
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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Eagle Owl » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:42 pm

Does this look familiar Marx? :wink:

Image

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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby Marx » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:20 am

Normana53 I cant believe it either!!

Eagle Owl that is exactly what we saw and they would fly over for ten minutes!!

Marx!

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Re: Red-Billed Queleas in Kruger!

Unread postby normana53 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:45 am

Even if they are considered pests, I would love to see a huge flock of even half a million Queleas. I once had about five hundred Evening Grosbeaks (a north American Bird similar in size and shape to a Thick-Billed Weaver) in my front yard at one time.It was fascinating to watch them forage, and even more amazing to watch them all take off and fly away in unison. I can't even imagine a million birds in synchronised flight. It seems it would darken the sky!
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Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread postby Crested Barbet » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:58 am

Here a few pics taken Dec. 2009 in KNP:

Image

Image

Image
My TR's
- It's time for Africa! (KNP Nov./Dec. 2010) - Video page 7: Wild dogs watching lions!
- Memories from the backseat (KNP Dec. 2009)
- If I could fly (KNP March/April 2010)
- Time to fly south again (MZNP, Addo, and more Nov/Dec. 2011)

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby darth bangkok » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:14 am

Hello there,

If anyone can confirm these sightings for me, it would be greatly appreciated! They were all seen in KNP in September 2009.

1. I think this may be 2 different species at least and I am not sure what they might be.

different bird?
Image

Image
KNP 2009
30/8 - 31/8 - Pretoriuskop
1/9 - Skukuza
2/9 - 3/9 - Letaba
4/9 - Mopani

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby wingman » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:24 am

Set 1 No1 B and D could be female red billed Quelea looking at a glance.

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Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread postby Sprocky » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:06 pm

A couple taken today...

Image

Image


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