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Weaver Finches

Conflicts With Humans

Some species of weaver finches occur in large numbers in urban and agricultural areas, where for various reasons they may be regarded as pests. The house sparrow and the Eurasian tree sparrow are most important in this respect.

The world's most important avian pest is probably the quelea (Quelea quelea) of Africa, which eats large quantities of ripe grains in places where it is abundant. This bird roosts communally in huge numbers, where it is sometimes sprayed with an organophosphate pesticide. It has been estimated that as many as one billion of these weaver finches are killed in this way each year.

See also Finches.


Resources

Books

Forshaw, Joseph. Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Academic Press, 1998.

Perrins, C.M., ed. The Birds of the Western Palaearctic. Vol. VIII. Crows to Finches. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1994.


Bill Freedman

KEY TERMS

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Polygyny

—A breeding system in which a male attempts to breed with as many females as possible. In avian polygyny, the female usually incubates the eggs and raises the babies.

Sexual selection

—This is a type of natural selection in which anatomical or behavioral traits may be favored because they confer some advantage in courtship or another aspect of breeding. For example, the bright coloration, long tail, and elaborate displays of male pheasants have resulted from sexual selection by females, who apparently favor extreme expressions of these traits in their mates.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Verbena Family (Verbenaceae) - Tropical Hardwoods In The Verbena Family to WelfarismWeaver Finches - Species Of Weaver Finches, Conflicts With Humans