The Southern Red Bishop differs from the Black-Winged Bishop in that the crown is red instead of black and the wings and tail are darker brown. It is a common resident occurring in flocks.

Appearance: Outside of breeding season, these birds are difficult to identify, being a warm brown colour with a streaked breast. They appear similar to the Yellow Crowned Bishop except with a shorter eyebrow, pink mandible and no yellow on the breast. Breeding males are striking with black underparts and mask, black and white wings and a red balaclava-like hood. The tail is short and red underneath. Juveniles’ underparts are slightly more buff than the females.

Size: The birds are about 14cm tall and the males weigh about 21-30g. Females tip the scales at 17-26g.

Habitat: Common in marshy grasslands, wetlands, agricultural areas and suburbia.

Feeding Habits: Eats seeds and insects.

Call: During summertime, the male calls with a vigorous ‘zik-zik-zik zayzayzayzayzay’.

Breeding: Southern Red Bishops breed in colonies, weaving oval-shaped grassy nests over water. 2 to 4 pale blue eggs are laid. During the breeding season, the male puts on a brilliant display, puffing itself up while calling or flying. Greater honeyguides are known to parasitize these birds.