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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

21 Amaze-wing Facts About The Red-Billed Quelea For Kids

To learn more about this bird, read these red-billed quelea facts.

The red-Billed quelea (Quelea quelea) is also referred to as a red-billed weaver, and the red-billed dioch or black-faced dioch belongs to the family Ploceidaea. There have been three subspecies recognized. This weaver is native to sub-Saharan Africa. The distribution or range includes the southern and eastern part of Sudan and South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and are also known to be found in the range that includes the northeastern part of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, southern and northwestern Somalia, and eastern and central Tanzania. The habitat of this weaver includes tropical and subtropical regions or areas and seasonally inhabit grasslands, croplands, woodlands, and dry savannas. To breed, this weaver requires a particular kind of habitat or environment. Nest is known to be placed in trees, and the nest is built with grasses, and the nest is known to be small and oval, and nesting is known to happen in colonies. Before breeding, a male is known to engage in displays to attract a female. Breeding takes place with only one female in one breeding cycle. Around one to five eggs are laid by a female, and the eggs are whitish-blue in color. The incubation of the eggs is done by both a male and female, and fledgling happens in about two weeks. The food consists of grass seeds and grains like sorghum and millet. The adult breeding and nonbreeding body or plumage are different, and breeding ones are more bright, and a female and newborn are known to have a similar appearance to that of a nonbreeding adult male plumage. It is quite interesting to know about the red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea) and if you are interested, read about these hummingbird facts and blue jay facts too.

Red-Billed Quelea Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a red-billed quelea?

Red-billed quelea or the red-billed weaver or the red-billed dioch is a bird.

What class of animal does a red-billed quelea belong to?

It belongs to the class of Aves of birds.

How many red-billed queleas are there in the world?

The breeding population of the red-billed queleas is estimated to be around 1.5 billion.

Where does a red-billed quelea live?

Red-billed quelea or the red-billed weaver or the red-billed dioch of the family Ploceidae is native to sub-Saharan Africa and distribution takes place or is found in the eastern part of Africa; the red-billed quelea range includes the southern and eastern part of Sudan and South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and are also known to be found in the range that includes the northeastern part of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, southern and northwestern Somalia, and eastern and central Tanzania.

What is a red-billed quelea's habitat?

The habitat of this small bird consists of tropical and subtropical regions or areas and seasonally inhabit grasslands, croplands, woodlands, and dry savannas. It is known to prefer spiny or thorny vegetation like the Acacia Savannas in the breeding season. It is known to inhabit elevations that can be around 9800 ft (3000 m) above sea level but can be mostly spotted in or around 4900 ft (1500 m). It is mostly spotted in wet types of habitat, around waterbody shores in floods. The shrubs, trees, and reeds are required for roosting or nesting.

Who do red-billed queleas live with?

These birds can be spotted in small groups, but feeding takes place in huge flocks.

How long does a red-billed quelea live?

These birds are known to live for about two to three years in the wild, whereas it has been recorded that these birds can live for up to 18 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

For breeding, these birds require around 12-31 in (30-80 cm) of rainfall or precipitation. Nesting or building of nests takes place after four to nine weeks of rain. Nests are known to be placed or built-in trees that are thorny, like sickle bush and blackthorn. The building of a nest is known to start with building or constructing a ring made with grasses. The red-billed quelea nest is known to be small and oval and is also made with grass. Nesting takes place in colonies. After the ring construction is completed, males are known to engage in displays to attract mates or females. Males are known to mate with one female in a breeding cycle. About one to five light greenish or bluish eggs are laid, and the incubation of eggs is done by both males and females for about 9-10 days. The fledgling happens in two weeks, and these birds reach sexual maturity at one year of age.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Red-billed quelea is known to be Least Concern.

Red-Billed Quelea Fun Facts

What do red-billed queleas look like?

The bright plumage and bill of this weaver are some of its recognizable features.

The breeding and nonbreeding plumage of this small bird are different. Most of the males tend to have a facial mask that is black-colored. They also have a black-colored forehead, cheeks, and some parts of the throat, and sometimes, the males tend to have a white-colored mask, and the mask of these males is known to be bordered with yellowish, purple, or pink bands. The upper part or upper body is known to have longitudinal stripes, which are light and dark brown. These colored stripes are known to extend to the lower part of the throat and sometimes the belly too. The underparts are whitish or light brown and some dark stripes. The stripes are known to be paler on the rump. The upper wing and tail are also dark brownish in color. The flight feathers of this bird are known to be edged or bordered with a yellow or greenish color. The eye is known to have a red ring, and the iris is brown. The legs are orangish in color. The bill of this small bird is known to be bright raspberry red in color. The nonbreeding plumage of males lacks bright colors. The head is gray-brown in color with dark stripes or streaks and a whitish-colored chin and throat. The bill also becomes a lighter shade of pink. The females are known to have a similar appearance to the nonbreeding plumage of males, but the bill is yellow or orangish. Females of this species are often confused with pin-tailed whydah. Newborns or the young ones are known to have white bills, and their plumage also resembles the nonbreeding plumage. There are slight differences between different subspecies in the male breeding plumage.

How cute are they?

These birds are considered cute because of their size and red bill.

How do they communicate?

Just like other birds, these birds are also known to communicate by producing various sounds, songs, and calls.

How big is a red-billed quelea?

The African Red-billed quelea size is similar to sparrows and is around 4.7 in (12 cm) in length.

How fast can a red-billed quelea fly?

The exact speed of the red-billed quelea is unknown, but they are known to fly or travel long distances and are good flyers.

How much does a red-billed quelea weigh?

The weight of these birds ranges from 0.03-0.05 lb (0.015-0.026 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females of this species.

What would you call a baby red-billed quelea?

There is no particular name for a baby of this species, but they are referred to as juveniles, young ones, or chicks.

What do they eat?

The red-billed quelea diet or food of these birds primarily consists of grass seeds and grains. They are known to also feed on insects sometimes, and the grains that they eat include sorghum, millet, wheat, and oats. Feeding is known to take place in huge flocks.

Are they poisonous?

This species is not considered poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Not much information is available regarding this species of bird as pets as they are wild birds of Africa, but it has been recorded that these birds are kept as pets in Australia occasionally and are not found in the wild in Australia.

Did you know...

This bird was described by Linnaeus in 1758 in the 10th Edition of the Systema Naturae.

Three subspecies of this species of bird have been recognized, namely, Quelea quelea quelea, Quelea quelea Lathamii, Quelea quelea aethiopica, and can be differentiated by the plumage color patterns in males.

This bird species or red-Billed quelea population is recorded to be the most numerated or abundant bird species found on earth that is undomesticated.

This bird is known to roost along with swallows, estrildidae, and weavers, and nesting also takes place in colonies.

Some natural bird predators of this bird species include lanner falcon, marabou stork, and tawny eagle. Other predators include cats, monkeys, squirrels, snakes, galagos, civets, mongoose, genets, lions, leopards, foxes, and jackals.

It is also known as Africa's feathered locust and has been recorded to be an extreme agricultural pest. For this feathered locust pest management, numerous population control operations or control measures have been initiated to lessen its presence around crops.

Visitors can see an abundance of this bird's population in Kruger National park of South Africa.

Why is the red-billed quelea such a large problem?

Red-billed quelea in Sub-saharan Africa is considered to be an agricultural pest. Many attempts are being made to control the population of these birds.

How did red-billed queleas get their name?

Not much information is available about how this bird species got its name.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Amazon parrot facts and Toco Toucan facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Red-Billed Quelea coloring pages.

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