Red-billed Quelea – Unity Unplugged

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©©JoMur

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©©JoMur

Red-billed Quelea – Unity Unplugged ~ by a j mithra

The term quelea bird usually refers to the species Quelea quelea, the Red-billed Quelea, native to bush, grasslands, and savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. Red-billed Quelea is one of the weavers, birds that build elaborate enclosed nests by weaving together strands of grass and other plant materials. There are more than one hundred species of weavers—most of them live in Africa, but others are found in the Arabian Peninsula, India, Southeast Asia, China, and Indonesia.

Most weavers don’t clash with humans, but a flock of Red-billed Quelea, sometimes called locust birds, is a flock of pest birds that African farmers fear. Red-billed Quelea live and breed in huge flocks which can take up to 5 hours to fly past.

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©WikiC flocking_at_waterhole

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©WikiC flocking_at_waterhole

They live mostly in steppe and savanna regions, but do not avoid human settlements. While foraging for food they may fly large distances each day without tiring. Their life expectancy is two to three years.

  • The unity found in these birds is amazing…
  • Sometimes it takes about five hours for a single flock to fly past..
  • How many seats are filled in our churches every Sunday?
  • Though we say that we live as a family, unity is found wanting in most Christian families..
  • If only each family is bound together by the chord of His love, there would be a great revival in our churches…

After all ministry starts at home isn’t it?

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

  • They never tire to fly long distances each day in search of food…
  • How far do we seek as a family in search of spiritual food?

This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. (Exodus 16:16-18)

  • Each person’s daily quota of manna is about 2 litres..
  • How much of spiritual manna do we have each day?

If our spiritual strength depends upon the intake of spiritual manna, we need to check how strong we’re in spirit…

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©WikiC

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©WikiC

Found in bush, grassland, cultivation and savannah this is one of Kenya’s most studied birds. It is, to put it bluntly, the greatest avian agricultural pest in the whole of the Afrotropical region. Being highly gregarious as well as nomadic, flocks containing hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions of individuals can devastate cereal crops. They roost in such massive numbers that they can break thick tree branches.

These small 20 gram birds can break thick tree branches, but, God doesn’t need a big army to bring Deliverance to His people…

  • The unity of Jonathan and his arm bearer brought deliverance to Israel..
  • The unity of just 300 of Gideon’s men was enough to bring deliverance to his people..
  • We as a church are not able to break satan’s plans, why?
  • It is not because of the dwindling number in our churches or the lack of unity?

If unity is lost, how is it possible to overcome the enemy and how is it possible to extend the kingdom of God?

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mathew 18:20)

When God comes amongst us, we can surely say,

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:30-31)

At first light the flocks leave their roost to go for water and from a distance it looks as though a grass fire has started. The Queleas form into dense, highly synchronised flocks which look like clouds of smoke, and then, as the flock approaches you, the numbers are so vast their wing-beats sound like a high wind.

  • These birds go in search of water at the first light of the day..
  • We say that Jesus is the living water, but do we drink Him at the first light of the day?
  • Doctors say that drinking water the first thing in the morning, heals a lot of ailments from diabetes to ulcer..
  • If water can bring healing to our body, how much healing can the Living water bring to our body, mind and soul?

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

The flock breeds at times of abundant rainfall and young are ready to move with the nomadic flock within six weeks—often coinciding with the ripening of grain crops. A nesting colony of Red-billed Quelea can extend over hundreds of acres, and a single flock may number millions of birds, moving together in a synchronized fashion.

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) Flock ©©AlastairRae

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) Flock ©©AlastairRae

A flock of Red-billed Quelea has been described as looking like a rolling cloud passing over a grain field or a grass fire sweeping over the grassland. It might as well be a grass fire, for when a huge flock of these bird pests leaves a field of millet, sorghum, or other cereal crop, scarcely a grain will be left behind. Grasses and cultivated wheat crops are highly attractive to them, and wherever there is grain and a source of water in Africa, there is a risk of a quelea bird outbreak.

The food of the Red-billed Quelea consists of annual grasses, seeds and grain. As soon as the sun comes up, they come together in their huge flocks and co-operate in finding a suitable feeding place.

Every day the Sun of Righteousness comes up in our lives, but, the question is, do we come together and most importantly co-operate in finding a suitable feeding place..

  • It has become a fashion for the members of a family to go to different churches on Sundays..
  • Where is the co-operation?
  • It has become a thing of the past for a family to sit together during taking part in the breaking of bread…
  • Should we not learn from these birds about finding a suitable feeding place together?
  • The Bible encourages corporate feeding..

Well, Jesus Himself set an example of corporate feeding when He fed the multitudes and also during the last supper…

And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. (Mark 6:39-42)

After a successful search, they settle rapidly and can cause serious damage to crops. In the middle part of the day they rest in shady areas near water and preen. Birds seem to prefer drinking at least twice a day. In the evening they once again fly in search of food.

  • How much we can learn from these birds…
  • They search for food together, seek water together twice every day, they preen together, and even fly again in the evening in search of food..
  • They are so sure about the power of staying together…

The Bible tells us so much about the power of staying together, but do we live like these bird? Let us live together like Psalm 133.

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©©pegash

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) ©©pegash

Breeding is localized and erratic but often colonies include tens of thousands to millions of pairs. The breeding season begins with the seasonal rains, which come at different times in different parts of their range – starting at the north-western edge around the beginning of November. The breeding males first weave half-complete ovoid nests from grass and straw. After the female has examined the construction and the mating has occurred, This mating style of these birds remind us of what Jesus said before ascending to heaven..

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. (John 14:3)

The female lays two to four light blue eggs, and incubates them for twelve days. After the chicks hatch, they are nourished for some days with caterpillars and protein-rich insects. After this time parents change to mainly feeding seeds.

The young birds fledge and become independent enough to leave their parents after approximately two weeks in the nest. They are sexually mature after just one year, but many birds die before reaching this stage and males may weave nests that go unused if the female dies.

  • These males weave the nest that go unused if the female dies..
  • Is the church dead or alive?
  • Let us not be complacent for Jesus may use the unused if His bride, the church is dead…
  • Let us examine if we still have life or if we live like white washed graves…

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. (Psalm 115:17

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at:

Weavers, Widowbirds – Ploceidae Family
Passeriformes Order


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