red-billed quelea

red-billed quelea

[red-bild]
noun
See under quelea.

Origin:
1955–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged

quelea

[kwee-lee-uh]
noun
any of several African weaverbirds of the genus Quelea, especially Q. quelea (red-billed quelea) noted for its vast flocks that destroy grain crops.

Origin:
1925–30; < Neo-Latin: genus name (1850; earlier as a species name), perhaps alteration of Medieval Latin qualea quail

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

red-billed quelea

(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

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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