MNN Galleries

9 of the world's largest animal swarms

By: Bryan Nelson on Dec. 23, 2013, 1:07 p.m.
red-billed quelea swarm

Photo: Alastair Rae/Flickr; inset: Lip Kee Yap/Flickr

4 of 11

Red-billed quelea

Red-billed quelea are the world's most abundant wild bird species, with an estimated population of 1.5 billion breeding pairs. When they flock, they can act almost like locusts, causing widespread damage to crops.

A film crew from the documentary series Planet Earth filmed the largest flock of quelea ever caught on camera — an almost incomprehensible collective of fluttering feathers. It's enough to make even Alfred Hitchcock squirm.