Quelea bird

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Quelea birdThe most notorious bird pest of small-grain cereal crops in the DLCO-EA region and the species that is of the greatest concern to the Ministries of Agriculture of the Member Countries, is the Ploceid weaver the Red-billed Quelea, Quelea quelea, known as the Quelea bird or simply as the quelea.

The quelea is distributed in Africa south of the Sahara desert virtually everywhere except the heavily forested areas. It is the major pest of cereal crops in Eastern Africa except when Desert Locust plagues develop. It occurs throughout the short grass steppes and savannas, scattered with Acacia trees, and is also found in some wetland areas. Within this range, the bird seeks places where there is an abundance of wild grass seed, a plentiful supply of fresh drinking water, and dense enough cover in which it can gather in big numbers (hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions) to roost or breed.

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