Information about the Bird Northern Red Bishop
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 or orange bishop (Euplectes franciscanus) is a weaver belonging to the family Ploceidae.
The northern red bishop is a stocky 13-15cm. 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.
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, and in Texas, where there is a suspected breeding population in Harris County.
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.
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