The world's most numerous bird - Photo by Adam Riley
Vast flocks of birds can truly be impressive. Huge, swirling masses of Red-billed Quelea certainly fall into this category. Appearing like dust storms, their amazing synchronised flight is a wonder to behold as they roll like great waves into tall grass to feast on seeds. The Red-billed Quelea, known to many as the Locustbird, is recognised as the world's most numerous wild bird species and flocks sometimes number hundreds of millions. This image captures a small fraction of an immense flock in central Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve by Adam Riley.
Rockjumper Birding Tours often spot flocks of Quelea on their tours to Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia and the Slous in Tanzania. At 55,000 square kilometres, Selous is one of the largest reserves in the world and this huge tract of pristine land offers protection to an estimated half of the world's African Wild Dog population and provides impressive game and birding opportunities. Rockjumper is offering Selous extensions to all our Tanzanian tours that operate away from the wet season when Selous is closed.
At peak times, Red-billed quelea flocks can number several million and have been known to take 5 hours to fly past. Whilst this is a magnificent and extraordinary sight, these birds are considered a major pest in some areas as they feed mostly on grain and can completely destroy a farmers field in minutes.
Red-billed Quelea flock by Adam Riley