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Southern Red Bishop - BirdForum Opus

Male and female
Photo © by Mybs
Plattekloof Hill, near Cape Town, South Africa

Alternative name: Red Bishop

Euplectes orix


Non-breeding plumage (drinking bird on right with Chestnut Sparrow)
Photo © by volker sthamer
Burunge, Tanzania, September 2017

13-15 cm (5-6 in)
Breeding Male

  • Orange to scarlet head, back and undertail coverts
  • Black facial mask
  • Black belly


Found in East and South Africa in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.
Introduced populations exist, eg. in Andalucia (Spain).


This is a monotypic species.
Several subspecies have been described (eg sundevalli or nigrifrons), however this species varies clinally in size.


Open country, tall grassland, near water.



Its nest is spherical and woven, and is situated in tall grass. It lays 2 - 4 eggs.


It feeds on seed, grain and some insects.


Call: a thin tsip


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2015)

Recommended Citation

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