Monks Wood Experimental Station, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon.
Pre-migratory fattening in three races of the Red-billed quelea Quelea quelea (Aves: Ploceidae), an intra-tropical migrant
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2010
Journal of Zoology
Volume 181, Issue 1, pages 43–56, January 1977
How to Cite
Ward, P. and Jones, P. J. (1977), Pre-migratory fattening in three races of the Red-billed quelea Quelea quelea (Aves: Ploceidae), an intra-tropical migrant. Journal of Zoology, 181: 43–56. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1977.tb04569.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2010
- (Accepted 8 June 1976)
Three races of Quelea quelea, inhabiting East, West and southern Africa, each perform a migration at the beginning of the wet-season, but the distances involved differ greatly. The quantity of pre-migratory fat accumulated differs in the three populations and correlates with the respective migration lengths. The timing of fattening is in some way associated with the onset of heavy rain. Though winged termites usually provide the food supply for fattening they do not appear to stimulate the process. Flight muscle hypertrophy accompanies fattening; it is suggested that the extra protein is required for body maintenance during the fasting period of the migration.