from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several African weaverbirds of the genus Quelea, especially Q. quelea, a small red-billed bird that is destructive to grain crops.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The crimson-beaked weaver-bird of Africa.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL. (Reichenbach, 1850).] A genus of African weaver-birds or Ploceidæ, containing such species as the above, Q. sanguinirostris.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin Quelea, genus name, perhaps alteration of Medieval Latin qualea, quail, ultimately from Vulgar Latin *coacula, of imitative origin.]


  • These grain-devouring pests (usually called quelea) like to roost together in the tall grass after a day in the fields.

    4 Questions and Answers

  • Irrigation projects may also encourage pesticide use to control insects and other pests such as the red-billed quelea or dioch (Quelea quelea).

    Inner Niger Delta flooded savanna

  • The Herald said an invasion of quelea birds, a local pest that destroys wheat when it is nearly ready for harvesting, had also compromised wheat yields.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Desperately-needed wheat crops in central Zimbabwe are being ravaged by a plague of quelea birds, national radio reported

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • And if it can be brought to perfection, it might transform the production of cereals throughout the quelea combat zone.

    Chapter 23

  • The most numerous and most destructive bird on earth, the seed-eating quelea (Quelea quelea) can descend on a farm in such numbers as to consume the entire grain crop in a matter of hours.

    Chapter 23

  • Earlier this year, quelea birds invaded some areas and affected harvests.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • In isolated locations (and on sites quelea should find irresistible), they planted plots of napier grass and shaped them with slightly narrowed waists where the barriers and traps could be easily erected.

    Chapter 23

  • Finger millet is subject to bird predators - notably to the notorious quelea (see Appendix A).

    2. Finger Millet

  • These birds include the quelea - a small, rather nondescript weaverbird that has replaced the locust as the most serious pest of small-grain crops in parts of Africa.

    10. Sorghum: Specialty Types


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  • any of several African weaverbirds of the genus Quelea, esp. Q. quelea (red-billed quelea), noted for its vast flocks that destroy grain crops.

    October 19, 2008