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(species Quelea quelea), small brownish bird of Africa, belonging to the songbird family Ploceidae (order Passeriformes). It occurs in such enormous numbers that it often destroys grain crops and, by roosting, breaks branches. Efforts to control quelea populations with poisons, napalm, pathogens, and electronic devices have had poor success; but dynamiting the dense colonies, which may contain more than two million pairs in less than 50 hectares (125 acres), has achieved local control