With the change of season and spring approaching we look forward to the thousands of red-billed Queleas, which will gather together to form massive flocks. It’s already early in the season and small flocks are starting to group together.
Considered to be one of the most abundant bird species in the world, they have an estimated population of 1 500 billion birds. These highly gregarious birds roost and feed in large flocks up to millions with huge concentrations of them visiting waterholes in the dry season. Both the Photo Mashatu underground hides attract large numbers of queleas, which come down for a drink and splash, providing endless photographic opportunities.
Red-billed queleas nest in huge colonies with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of birds in a colony. They fly in a coordinated cloud and when in large numbers they resemble a wave moving through the sky. Mashatu is home to a very large roosting colony. During the height of their breeding season guests are able witness thousands of birds coming in to roost. The noise from these thousands of birds gathered together can be quite deafening. It is not unusual to hear a noise from above and then look up to see a cloud of birds flying overhead – a truly remarkable sight.