Northern red bishop

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Northern red bishop
Euplectes orix 5 Luc Viatour.jpg
Male northern red bishop
Euplectes franciscanus -Kotu Creek, Western Division, The Gambia -male-8.jpg
Breeding male in Senegal
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ploceidae
Genus: Euplectes
Species: E. franciscanus
Binomial name
Euplectes franciscanus
(Isert, 1789)

Euplectes franciscana

The northern red bishop or orange bishop (Euplectes franciscanus) is a weaver belonging to the family Ploceidae.

It was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the southern red bishop (Euplectes orix) of the southern half of Africa. The two are now usually classified as separate species.


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 North America due to an accidental release from a Texan pet shop. They are quite numerous and breeding freely.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

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. Also, it has been introduced to California in the 1980s.[2]

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 to 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.