The yellow weavers or "gendarmes? as they are called in Francophone Africa. Their agility in manipulating green grass to make nests also unfortunately has helped them to learn to strip the leaves off the outside of a maize cob to get at the grain inside. They are therefore the only group of pest birds which can damage maize. This is the Black-Headed Weaver, Ploceus melanocephalus. - - Granivorous Bird Pests in Africa. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been involved directly in the problem of granivorous bird pests in Africa since 1971 when a Regional Project RAF 73/055 began operations in N'Djarnena, Chad. The objective of this project was to carry out research on the ecology of the most important of the bird pests, the Quelea quelea, with a view to finding ways of avoiding or reducing bird damage and of improving control methods. Experts worked in most parts of the Quelea's northern range which stretches from Dakar, Senegal to Mogadishu, Somalia. The project achieved some success in its efforts being able to make concrete proposals for eliminating damage to certain crops. But the complexity of the Quelea's ecology, its mobility over such large areas of difficult terrain and the involvement of other bird species in the damage spectrum has necessitated continued effort and the creation of new projects to replace RAF 73/055 which carne to an end in 1977. New projects have accordingly been established covering Technical Assistance to Bird Control Units both in East and West Africa and research on bird population movements in East Africa.