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Quelea, Red-billed

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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wildtuinman
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Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread post by 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.
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Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread post by 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.
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Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread post by 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:
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Re: Quelea, Red-billed

Unread post by 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!


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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by 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.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by 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...
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by 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. ???
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by 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
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by 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 .

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

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

Hilda and Ladybirder thank you very much!

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by 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.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

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

Red-billed quelea
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

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

Thanks JvR, I'd overlooked those :redface:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread post by 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:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

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

These are also non-breeding males... Just RBQs; their females have ochre coloured bills.
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