The Red Bishop is a small bird that is native to equatorial Africa. It can be divided into two distinct species, the Northern Red Bishop lives above the equator but below the Sahara desert whilst the Southern Red Bishop can be found south of the Equator. The Red Bishop can be found in the wetlands and the grasslands of the area. %%AFC-ADVERT%%
The Northern Red Bishop is larger that the Southern Red Bishop with an average length of 15cm and 11cm respectively. The average lifespan for both species is roughly 7 years.
Both species of Red Bishop are predominantly red and breeding males are often much brighter than their non breeding counterparts. Females are generally smaller than males. The female and non-breeding Northern Red Bishops are almost identical to the Southern Red Bishops.
Red Bishop Behaviour and Diet
Red Bishops often form a flock and live and nest in colonies (sometimes a flock can be millions strong). They often roost and co-exist with weaver birds. During the breeding season, the males will build several nests among reeds and grasses and go through displays to attract a female. The breeding male will mate with several females. Each female will lay between two to four eggs.
The Red Bishop’s diet consists primarily of insects and various seeds. If they need to, they will also eat green plant shoots. In captivity, apple is an excellent way of varying their diet somewhat. Due to their proximity to the equator, their diet remains quite consistent all year round.
Red Bishop Temperament
During the mating season, their males will defend their nests, mates and mating sites very fiercely, once the mating season is over however, they become less aggressive and coexist together once more.
Keeping Red Bishops
Red Bishops are not really suited to living in cages and will require a large aviary to live in with other birds. Red Bishops can be kept with other species such as Cockatiels but not finches. Red Bishops will need lots of plants in their aviary such as bamboo so they can build a nest. They will often do this even if there are no females present. Males will fight during breeding season so it is best to keep one male with several females to avoid conflict.
They are quite tough birds and don’t normally require extra heating or protection, in particularly cold climates you may have to check on them often to make sure the temperature hasn’t got to them.