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 The Gambia
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.

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. It is also naturalized in California, where numbers have grown from scattered sightings in the 1970s to estimates of more than 400 by 1997,[2] and in Texas, where there is a suspected breeding population in Harris County.[3]

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.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Euplectes franciscanus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Garrett, Kimball L. (1998). "Population Trends And Ecological Attributes Of Introduced Parrots, Doves And Finches In California". In Baker, R.O.; Crabb, A.C. Proceedings of the Eighteenth Vertebrate Pest Conference. Davis, CA, US: University of California–Davis. pp. 46–54. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. ^ Lockwood, Mark W.; Freeman, Brush (2014). The Texas Ornithological Society Handbook of Texas Birds (2nd ed.). College Station, TX, US: Texas A&M Press. p. 358. ISBN 978-1-62349-176-5.