Africa’s Feathered Locust – These Little Birds Cause the Cutest Plague Imaginable

To most of the world, the red-billed quelea is a cute, sparrow-like bird native to Sub-Saharan Africa, but to the farmers of the regions that this little creature calls home, it is a pest capable of wiping out their crops.

Biblical plagues mention insects like locusts, lice and flies, but to the people of African countries like ¬†Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, birds – one species in particular – are more dangerous than any of them. There is a very good reason why the red-billed quelea is popularly known as Africa’s feathered locust. This small, adorable bird eats about four grams of plant seeds per day, which doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider that it feeds in flocks of millions of individuals, the math starts to get pretty scary for farmers and those who depend on their crops.

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