Talk:Red-billed quelea

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Featured article Red-billed quelea is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
May 30, 2017 Good article nominee Listed
August 23, 2017 Featured article candidate Promoted
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Current status: Featured article

Removed line[edit]

I removed this line...One of the few natural enemies is the crocodile, which lurks in the drinking places of the birds, and may snatch several at an opportune moment. It seems impossible that a common species has few natural enemies, and unlikely that the croc hunts for small birds. Sabine's Sunbird talk 01:34, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Suggestions for GAN and eventual FAC[edit]

I would suggest looking at the structure of an existing FA bird article. Take Flame robin. Note in particular:

  • Less is better when it comes to sections. Well, it's a balance thing, in this case there are too many. Description should be a single section, or maybe two (a main one and a subsection for calls) not 7 (some of which are single lines). Similar case for taxonomy, and for the relationship with humans sections (uses, pest and aviculture).
  • The lead should summarise the whole article. I can help with this if you like.
  • I would move the images around the article rather than having a single gallery mid-article.

I'll continue to copyedit and feel free to ask me anything. Sabine's Sunbird talk 05:13, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This review is transcluded from Talk:Red-billed quelea/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: FunkMonk (talk · contribs) 08:51, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Hi, I'll review this soon, I'll start with some first glance impressions, and will later go into the text itself. FunkMonk (talk) 08:51, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
  • You should try to follow the section structure/naming seen in other promoted bird articles (like Red wattlebird or Carnaby's black cockatoo), looks a bit all over the place now. You even have two sections with the same name now.  Done
  • The intro is too short, it should be a summary of the entire article. See WP:Lead.  Done, but is it enough?
  • Galleries are discouraged, per WP:Gallery, you should place images in the sections where they are relevant.  Done
  • You should write numerical conversions in parenthesis, now you do both that but also say for example "12 centimetres or 4.7 inches long" in-text, should be consistent.  Done
  • Almost no paragraphs in the first subspecies section have citations.  Done
  • Image captions should begin with capital letters.  Done
  • You there, Dwergenpaartje? --FunkMonk (talk) 10:38, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Sure, I've executed most of what you suggested, I hope you think it has improved. Perhaps the lead needs to be more substantive still, although I've done some already. I've asked for help to push it a bit further still. What do you think sofar? Dwergenpaartje (talk) 15:49, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah, ok, usually the nominator keeps the reviewer updated by writing "done" or some such under each point. I'll look at the changes and add more as I read along. FunkMonk (talk) 15:51, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
@FunkMonk:, I, wasn't aware. Lets just do that. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 07:49, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Further comments below, more to come. FunkMonk (talk) 15:12, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Personally, I would group the etymology text with the text about the scientific naming, the flow is interrupted now by going from naming then to systematics, and then to naming again.
  • You could have a citation for each subspecies paragraph in the taxonomy section list.
 Done, I didn't do so before since the citation is identical for each of the subspecies.
  • You could give etymologies for the subspecies names.
Emblem-question-yellow.svg Not sure
I could, but I haven't seen the original documents, so I am unaware of the intentions of the authors, nor did I read any subsequent authors who gave their own interpretations. Some may be of the opinion that giving any etymologies in such circumstances amounts to original research. lathami is derived from a male named Latham, most probably John Latham (ornithologist). aethiopica usually refers to Ethiopia, most likely because the type was collected in Ethiopia. The repetition of the species name quelea as the subspecies epithet is the prescribed method of naming the nominate (being the subspecies to which the species type is assigned).
Yeah, two of the names have pretty obvious meanings, but many readers might not know about Latham. I've seen a reference used that is some sort of dictionary for bird names, perhaps Casliber knows what I'm talking about? FunkMonk (talk) 08:55, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
James A. Jobling (2009), Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names, isbn 9781408125014, may be what you are refering to. I could ask for copies of the pages with the epithets concerned. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 09:42, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Using google in Australia, I can see it is page 328 - see here. It doesn't mention Latham though. We used the reference in red-billed tropicbird.Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 11:21, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
There is no separate entry for lathami either, Casliber? FunkMonk (talk) 08:16, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

 Done Glossy black cockatoo gives an etymology for lathami, referencing Forshaw, Joseph M; William T. Cooper (2002). Australian Parrots (3rd ed.). Robina: Alexander Editions. ISBN 0-9581212-0-6.  So I have now included the etymologies for the non-nominate subspecies. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 16:37, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

  • "Interbreeding between red-billed and red-headed queleas has been observed in captivity." Why no link for the latter?
  • What is the authority source for this map?[1]
That's a bit of a problem. The map description only says it is "own work". Seems to me a rough approximation of the distribution based on maps or descriptions in other sources. Among those may have been HBW Alive and BBC. These differ from each other and suggest a precision that may be difficult to substantiate for the fickle nature of the appearances of our weaver. I only made use of a map that was already in existence and was already (in its global version) part of the article before I touched it.
Hmmm, I'd add a reference on the Commons page to the most similar map, then maybe someone will edit the image accordingly later on. FunkMonk (talk) 08:55, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I've asked for a new map at wiki commons and suggested to make an overlay of both the available maps indicated above. This would mean the map would be much more consistent with the described distributions and could be sourced. But we'll have to wait a bit and hope the map designer has some time available for us. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 10:34, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
  • "is sister to" Spell out sister taxon or group, some readers may not know what it means.
  • "both remaining species of the genus Quelea, namely Q. cardinalis and Q. erythrops" You should also give their common names.
  • "(females outside the breeding season and males)" I would add "in females".
  • "It is a migratory bird that occurs in very large flocks and breeds in colonies." Why is this info in the description section?
 Done Although these are behavioral traits, and may help to recognize the species in the field.
  • "In the breeding season, males are diversely colored, but these differences in the male plumage do not signal condition but probably serve recognition of individual birds. However, the intensity of the red on the bills is regarded an indicator for the animal's quality and social dominance." This would also seem to belong in the reproduction section.
  • "but have a yellow of orangey bill" Or?
 Done A consequence of working on a tablet with the auto-correct mode on, correcting to the closest and commonest Dutch, that went unnoticed by me.
  • "There are usually three eggs in each clutch (full range one to five) of approximately 18 mm long and 13 mm in diameter, light bluish or greenish in color, occasionally with some dark spots. Some clutches contain six eggs, but large clutches may be the result of other females dumping an egg in a stranger's nest." Also belongs in reproduction section.
 Done, although this is information on reproduction that is a description of physical appearance, not of Ecology and behaviour.
  • "18 mm long and 13 mm in diameter" Needs conversion.
  • "they mold again" Moult.
  • The call section seems very short, I'm sure there must be info about other calls, and that of the female and juveniles?
I have not found any more on the web, although with access to HBW alive (which I do not have) will find some more.
  • "about 30 km distance" Convert.
  • I think you could right align the "Flocking at a waterhole" image, so it doesn't clash with the title predator section header.
Alright, now the two images in that section are on the same "line", though, might be better to stagger them somehow, to prevent "sandwiching" of the text. FunkMonk (talk) 08:55, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I would add "behaviour" to the Ecology header, some of the issues discussed (breeding behaviour) are not really ecological.
  • "about 300 mm" Convert.
  • "30,000 per hectare." Convert.
 Done, although I had to do this by hand, the template does not accept "per" units
  • "The male starts the nest by creating a ring of gras by twining strips around both branches of a hanging forked twig, and from their bridging the gap" Typos?
  • "grains of 1–2 mm" Convert.
  • "eat about 15 g in" Convert.
  • "13 tonnes of insects and 1000 tonnes of". I think you know what I mean by now...
by deleting this sentence and citation
The info seems relevant enough why remove it? FunkMonk (talk) 18:41, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
A misunderstanding, I thought you meant this was too much figures, but you mean these figures need conversion... I do have trouble all the time to find the units to convert to, having been raised in the decimal world, and guessing what the shorthand in the template would be. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 20:27, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah, hehe, I was just tired of writing "convert" over and over... Sometimes it works just to write in a Google search, for example "2 in to cm", then you get "2 inches = 5.08 centimeters". This seems to work with all kinds of units and values. FunkMonk (talk) 20:29, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
  • "Each team of six trappers process about twenty thousand birds each night." Why is this present tense? Is it always like that?
  • Most bird articles discuss their IUCN redlist evaluation in-text.
  • "Therefore, it is sometimes called "Africa's feathered locust"." Only stated in intro, which should not have unique info.
  • The intro should also have a physical description of the bird (since it should summarise the entire article).
  • The intro is large enough so you could split it into two or three paragraphs.
  • It seems a bit strange that you only mention the number of birds under Pest management. Seems a bit too specific for such a general fact.
  • Changes look good, but it is iffy to have an unsourced sentence about the meaning of aethiopicus, better to remove it if no source can be found. I've also added a question above.
Found a source that aethiopicus means from Ethiopia in another bird. The type is from Sennar Province, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, which is not in Ethiopia although bordering that country, see "NRM 568681 Ploceus aethiopicus Sundevall, 1850". Naturhistorica Riksmuseet. , so I removed the part on the type probably coming from there. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 20:38, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
The last part still seems to be there? Anyhow, the rest looks good, is this your first bird GA? If you're thinking of bringing it to FAC, you'll probably be asked to provide a source for the map again, so may be good to have it sorted out by then. FunkMonk (talk) 20:50, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes @FunkMonk:, I wasn't anticipating you to be monitoring progress real-time. I changed it now to reflect that new information, but perhaps it needs to go because it is rather speculative now? Please let me know. I have also changed the taxonomy on both subspecies other than the nominate, and added migration patterns for the nominate and aethiopica in the Distribution section. Dunno whether you noticed.
And this is my first GA on any topic, and I have to say that I learned a lot already. So thanks for the guidance! Dwergenpaartje (talk) 21:02, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
May be a little bit WP:synth-like to juxtapose the info like that, but less so if you cut "although" and "neighbouring". The added info looks good, and responses have been swift, so I hope this'll give you appetite for nominatig more! I think the article is fine for GA now, anything else can be fixed post-GA. So I will now pass it. FunkMonk (talk) 21:08, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Embarrassing etymology section[edit]

According to Wikipedia's own articles, the red-headed quelea's Swahili name is kwelea kichwa-chekundu, the cardinal quelea is kwelea kidari-chekundu and the red-billed quelea is kwelea domo-jekundu. Why then does this article engage in what looks like embarrassing folk etymology and leave the Swahili until the end? Abductive (reasoning) 06:26, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Can you clarify, Abductive... I think your point is that the article begins the section on etymology by saying "Linnaeus himself did not explain the name quelea. Modern ornithologists have suggested different explanations...", but ends saying that the Swahili name for the bird is "kwelea domo-jekundu", and that this shows that the obvious source of the species / genus name is its local name, and that the article should point this out at the start of the etymology? hamiltonstone (talk) 13:00, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Are we certain that the "kwelea" is not taken from the "quelea" though? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:35, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Nothing is certain, but it looks bad. One learns to recognize folk etymologies. Also, the sourcing is pitiful; the source is a dictionary list, not a secondary analysis. Abductive (reasoning) 16:47, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
The primary source and unsourced WP:OR material has been removed. Please do not return it to the article. Abductive (reasoning) 16:53, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Can you back up a moment for me, Abductive, and explain why you're so firm on the dictionary issue? The dictionary entry itself has cited sources, and I am not clear why this is so completely off-base, nor why it is being treated here as a "primary source"? I agree with you about bringing forward the local etymology; I am not clear about the rest of your argument. hamiltonstone (talk) 13:31, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
If a dictionary gives etymologies then it is a fine source. But the article attributed all kinds of info to the source which was a bare-bones dictionary list. Abductive (reasoning) 06:20, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Here is what Jobling has to say:
"quelea Med. L. qualea quail. The relevance of this name to the Afrotropical queleas is unclear, but Jeffreys (1973) suggested a connection between the pestilential swarms of queleas that ravage the crops of modern Africa and the huge numbers of quail Coturnix that fell upon the camp of the Israelites, “as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth” (Numbers XI, 31). Gotch (1987) believes it to be from an African native name (Quelea)."

  • Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 328. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 

Jobling doesn't list a Gotch (1987) but there is: Gotch, A. F. 1981. Birds – their Latin names explained. Blandford Press. - Aa77zz (talk) 15:50, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

This is good, as we can attribute any attributions to people. Will chase these later today unless someone else beats me to it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:51, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Emberiza quelea is based on a type from Senegal. So it is very unlikely that a Kiswahili word would be the source of the epithet. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 09:03, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
@Abductive: Wikipedia does not need me. Some editors feel the need to extremely fiercely discredit my contributions. "Embarrassing", "it looks bad", "pitiful", "completely off-base", "the article attributed all kinds of info to the source which was a bare-bones dictionary list". Perhaps I'd better look for an other hobby. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 09:10, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Haters gonna hate. Disregard the useless adjectives, propose solutions, and then we'll leave it to future generations to judge who was acting "embarrassingly". FunkMonk (talk) 09:22, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I will put the Jeffreys info back in...just found fulltext of book so might find name of reference. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:22, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
There still needs to be an explanation of the remarkable similarity of the Swahili word and the specific epithet, lest the article look like it was written by Eurocentric editors. Abductive (reasoning) 15:09, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
We can't invent one if none exists. We need a source. And it is not impossible the Swahili word was derived from the English. Right now we are reflecting the sources in that two derivations have been proposed and we are listing them. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 15:13, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
The vast majority of sources is written by Europeans, and since the 1930s by what we call westerners. That cannot be helped. Few other plant or animal articles on Wikipedia even mention local vernaculars.
Anyway, Kiswahili for bird is "ndege", weaver bird is "ndege mweusi", sparrow is "shoro", red is "jekundu", and beak is "mdomo". Automated translation of the word "kwelea" however is a problem. "-elea" seems to mean to float, but reversal does not lead to the original. "Kwelea" translates to stop, but the reversal does not produce "kwelea". This is from Google Translate. There is a publication Birds of Tanzania: A provisional list of bird names in Kiswahili by Charles O.F. Mlinga, that says that for the 1036 bird species in Tanzania, only 150 have a Swahili name, and he proposes names for the rest. I can't myself access that publication, but I do not have the impression from the summary that it will provide etymologies. As written higher up, Emberiza quelea is based on a type from Senegal (in West-Africa), which makes it unlikely that a Kiswahili word (spoken in East-Africa), would be the source of the epithet. As Kiswahili is a trade language, by definition simple in structure and very rich in loanwords, it seems likely the vernacular is a direct translation from the English. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 08:06, 23 June 2017 (UTC)