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Southern Red Bishop

Southern Red Bishop
Photo Information
Copyright: Karl Daniels (webphoto) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 7 N: 56] (359)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-01-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 30 D, Canon 600mm f/4 L
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): jacqueline's favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-12 12:26
Viewed: 5025
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Southern Red Bishop or Red Bishop (Euplectes orix) is a small passerine bird belonging to the bishop and widowbird genus Euplectes in the weaver family Ploceidae. It is common in wetlands and grassland in Africa south of the Equator. North of the Equator, it is replaced by the Northern Red Bishop or Orange Bishop (E. franciscanus) which was formerly regarded as a subspecies of this species.


It is 10-11 centimetres long and has a thick conical bill. Breeding males are brightly-coloured with red (occasionally orange) and black plumage. The forehead, face and throat are black and the rest of the head is red. The upperparts are red apart from the brown wings and tail. The upper breast and under tail-coverts are red while the lower breast and belly are black. The non-breeding male and female have streaky brown plumage, paler below. Females are smaller than the males.

It has various twittering calls and a nasal contact call. The male has a buzzing song.

Breeding males of the Northern Red Bishop have a red throat, black extending further back on the crown and long tail-coverts which almost cover the tail. The females and non-breeding males are almost identical to those of the Southern Red Bishop.

Distribution and habitat

It occurs from South Africa north to Angola, southern and eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Uganda and south-west Kenya. It is largely absent from the Namib Desert and Kalahari.

In the breeding season it is found near water among grass, reeds, sedges or crops such as sugar cane. Outside the breeding season it will venture into drier grassland and savanna habitats.
Breeding-plumaged male at Goreangab Dam near Windhoek, Namibia.


It is a fairly gregarious bird, nesting in colonies and foraging in flocks. It feeds on seeds and some insects. It often roosts in mixed flocks with other members of the weaver family.

At the start of the breeding season, the males build several nests to attract females. They perform a display flight with their feathers fluffed up. They are polygynous and mate with several females. The nest is most commonly built among reeds and is made of grasses and other plant materials woven together. Two to four eggs are laid.


Canon 600mm L IS USM
ISO 400

roges, Luis52, chrisruth, zetu, nasokoun, Jamesp, flashpoint, Mamagolo2, Noisette has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Miss_Piggy: Thanks Annawebphoto 1 01-16 06:52
To Noisette: Thankswebphoto 1 01-14 21:01
To Mamagolo2: Thankswebphoto 1 01-14 12:27
To nasokoun: Thankswebphoto 2 01-13 06:52
To nagraj: Thankswebphoto 1 01-13 05:10
To PeterZ: Thankswebphoto 1 01-13 04:25
To Jamesp: Thankswebphoto 1 01-13 02:12
To Luis52: Thankswebphoto 1 01-12 21:51
To zetu: Thankswebphoto 1 01-12 21:49
To manyee: Thankswebphoto 1 01-12 21:04
To chrisruth: Thankswebphoto 1 01-12 21:03
To fragman: Thankswebphoto 1 01-12 13:13
To roges: Thankswebphoto 1 01-12 13:11
To hansh: Thankswebphoto 1 01-12 12:38
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • hansh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
  • [2010-01-12 12:28]
  • [+]

Hello Karl.

A great capture of this beuatiful bird.
The colors, shaprness and POV are well balanced.
A pleasure to look at.
Thank you for sharing it.

Gr. Hans

amazing capture, I would crop out the right part, so the bird is not in the picture's middle. TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-01-12 12:54]
  • [+]

Hello Karl,
Small, beautifully colored and rendered excellent.
So can briefly describe the picture with this beautiful bird, congratulations.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-01-12 15:00]
  • [+]

Hola Karl.
Hermosa y fina imagen, bellos colores del plumaje de este pajarillo. La pose es exelente y se logra aqui un gran trabajo.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2010-01-12 18:53]
  • [+]

A beautiful bird, Karl.
What brilliant colors.
The light on it is excellent,
and the details are super sharp.
A fantastic shot with a lovely composition.
TFS. : )

Hi Karl

Amazing capture of the Southern Red Bishop.
We have quite a couple of them around Pietermaritzburg as well.
Not easy to capture as they never seem to sit still:)

Well done and TFS
Kind Regards

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-01-12 21:40]
  • [+]

Hello Karl
Wonderful capture with excellent details and vivid colors
Well done

hello Karl,
the composition is beautiful with the pose in the cane and the bleary background, the colors of exceptional output and ideal sharpness that give realistic very good details, it's a splendid photo! bravo!
keep photographing! TFS

Hi Karl

This is an outstanding shot - excellent detail, pose and exposure - plus very nice OFF BG and eye detail. You must have endless patience - I have seen these birds often - but they are so small and move so quickly, I find it almost impossible to get a shot of one!

Best wishes


Hello Karl,
Fantastic photo of this beauty. I've seen it in S. Africa, but couldn't make such a quality photo. Excellent sharpness, details and OOF BG. For a better composition: I should have cropped a piece from the right side to get the bird out of the centre of the photo.

Very interesting species of bird, beautiful colors and shapes, fine capture. tfs.

Hello Karl,
Stunning image of this beautiful bird. I love the colors and detail. Your back ground makes the bird stand out. VWD and thanks for sharing.
Kind Regards

hello Karl
wow ! what a fantastic bird with so beautiful and intensiv colors
superb pose, POV and blurred BG
he whole bird is captured with perfect details
thanks a lot for sharing this beauty

Hallo Karl
What can I say? excellent photography. Both Loot and I have been trying to get one of these for ages but with no luck. Recently we were at Vrede dam where they where in abundance, but they are always in the reeds and every time one get a shot, there is a reed or something obstructing. But I'll keep trying, because I would love to have a shot as good as yours. This combination of red and black shouts out and is very unique, and of course the twinkle in the eye is magic. Thanks for sharing. Kind regards.

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