Red Bishop

Red Bishop, the genus name for the Northern Red Bishop is Euplectes Franciscanus. Derived from the Greek and meaning ‘well-woven’, probably refers to their beautifully woven nests.  Franciscanus relates to a religious order from the 12th century that symbolized the crimson colour. Part of the weaver family of birds, it’s a regular visitor to Footsteps between June and December attracted to water and found unsurprisingly at our eco-pool.

Red Bishop
Red Bishop taking a bath

Where is the Red Bishop found?

As mentioned earlier, this little bird is a regular visitor at Footsteps during the breeding season, June to December.

Outside of The Gambia, The Northern Red Bishop is found all over Northern Africa.

In Gambia for example this delightful bird is widespread and also generally fairly common in forest interiors.

What does it look like?

His holiness is a small bird at only 11 cm long and weighing in at around 13 to 21 grams.

The Crimson Red plumage is found on the backside of the male and wraps around the neck like a scarf, he has black crown, forehead, flank, and belly. The tail and upper wings are brown, he has pale legs and also a black bill. The Crimson Red colouring is only present in breeding males. After their breeding season, their plumage is replaced with a dull beige and resembles a common sparrow.

What does it feed on?

They feed mainly on seeds but are also known to hunt insects too in flight.

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

His red-orange feathers are produced by pigments derived from compounds in his diet. Specifically, the yellow, orange and red pigments originate from compounds called carotenoids. Source Wikipedia.

How does it sound?

Not known for its song and more known for not singing at all. When it does it’s a fast mix of twittering and churring. With a sharp Tsit and Tzit.

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