Symphony of birds

Red-billed queleas

Photo by Alastair Rae https://www.flickr.com/photos/55663585@N00/342898296

Queleas drinking

One late afternoon I saw these birds gathering at a waterhole in Mashatu, Botswana. Possibly the most abundant wild bird in the world, with an estimated population of around 10 billion birds, these small passerines in the weaver family are famous for the massive flocks that move through most of sub-Saharan Africa, darkening the sky with their sheer numbers. Amazingly, these birds fly within centimetres from each other, but they never collide in mid-air. Although they can be destructive when they land on crops to feed, witnessing a flock of queleas is a truly beautiful sight, resembling a perfectly timed ballet in the sky. And what better way to narrate one of nature’s greatest spectacles? By saying nothing at all…

 

 

 

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