Bishop and widows
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Southern Red Bishop L: 13 cm (5") A small, rotund, sparrow-like bird . The breeding male shows an unmistakable mix of velvety vermilion and black, whereas the female and non-breeding male are nondescript, mainly identified by their small size, short tail, and strong buff eyebrow . This is a widespread resident in Kruger and, although uncommon, numbers are increasing . It is always found close to water in the summer (December– March), breeding colonially in reedbeds and swampy grassland, but disperses into the bush in the winter (June–August) . White-wingedWidow L: 15 cm (6") A finch-like bird with a longish tail . The breeding male is mostly jet-black but has yellow shoulder patches and a white flash in the wing, obvious in flight, and a pale bill . Non-breeding males and females are plain and rather nondescript . It is a widespread resident in Kruger, breeding in rank grasslands and marshy edges in summer (December–March), at other times forming mixed flocks with other birds in savannah, feeding mostly on seeds . Bishop and widows male non-breeding male non-breeding/ female 154 Red-collaredWidow L: 12 cm (4·5") (breeding male 25 cm (10")) The breeding male is jet-black and develops a 13 cm (5") long floppy, graduated tail and a crimson collar, whereas females and non-breeding males are smaller with unstreaked underparts and a yellowish eyebrow . This widow is a widespread resident in Kruger, especially in the south of the park . It breeds in tall, wet grassland and is uncommonly encountered in wet years, but less frequently in drier years . Outside the breeding season it forms mixed flocks with others bishops in savannah, feeding mainly on seeds . Male bishops and widows will mate with as many females as possible, and, other than providing a nest, play no role in parental care. In the breeding season, males moult from drab brown into colourful plumage, making them more likely targets for predators.The males that survive the attentions of predators are clearly the fittest and those that get to pass on their genes. BIRDS OF BROADLEAVED WOODLAND AND CAMPS male non-breeding/female 155 ...