The Red-billed Quelea is native to much
of sub-Saharan Africa except for dense forested areas. It is
the world's most numerous bird and lives in swarms rather
than flocks, making it an agricultural pest in many areas.
Appearance is variable.
Generally the breeding male has a red
bill and a black face mask, but moults to look like the
female outside of the breeding season. The breeding female
has a yellow bill, but no black face mask, and has a red
bill when not in breeding plumage.
They build oval, vertical, woven nests with a side entrance. Trees containing multiple nests are burnt or sprayed with toxins by farmers who also kill rarer birds as unintended collateral damage.