Northern red bishop
|Northern red bishop|
|Male northern red bishop|
|Breeding male in Senegal|
The northern red bishop or orange bishop (Euplectes franciscanus) is a weaver belonging to the family Ploceidae.
The northern red bishop is a stocky 13–15 cm. bird. The breeding male is scarlet apart from his black head and waistcoat, and brown wings and tail. The conical bill is thick and black.
The non-breeding male is pale yellow streaked above and shading to whitish below. It has a buff supercilium. Females are similar, but smaller. Young birds have wider pale fringes on their flight feathers.
Recently this bird has been spotted in Texas due to accidental release from a pet shop. They are quite numerous and breeding freely.
Distribution and habitat
The northern red bishop is a resident breeding bird species in Africa south of the Sahara Desert and north of the Equator. It has been introduced to Puerto Rico, Martinique and Guadeloupe in the West Indies.
This common weaver occurs in a range of open country, especially tall grassland and often near water.
The northern red bishop displays prominently, singing high-pitched squeaks from tall grass, puffing out his feathers or performing a slow hovering display flight. It builds a spherical woven nest in tall grass. Two-four eggs are laid. This weaver is a gregarious species which feeds on seed, grain and some insects, all the time making a thin tsip call.
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- Birds of The Gambia by Barlow, Wacher and Disley, ISBN 1-873403-32-1