Southern Red Bishop

Scientific Name:
Euplectes orix
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Southern Red Bishop

The Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix) is a small passerine bird belonging to the family Ploceidae, commonly known as bishops and widowbirds.


Southern Red Bishops are typically found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, reedbeds, grasslands, and agricultural areas with suitable vegetation. They are often associated with water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and irrigation ditches. These bishops are commonly seen in both natural and human-modified landscapes, including urban parks, golf courses, and rice fields.


Southern Red Bishops are small birds, measuring approximately 11 to 14 centimeters (4.3 to 5.5 inches) in length. They have a relatively slender body, short tail, and conical bill adapted for seed-eating. Breeding males have striking red plumage on the head, breast, and back, with contrasting black wings and tail. Non-breeding males and females have a duller plumage with streaked or mottled patterns. Best Viewing The best places to view Southern Red Bishops are in wetland habitats with suitable nesting sites and abundant vegetation. Look for them in reedbeds, marshes, and grasslands near water bodies, where they can be seen foraging for seeds and insects or displaying during the breeding season. During this time, males may gather in large flocks and perform elaborate courtship displays to attract mates.