Yellow Bishop (Euplectes capensis)
The Yellow Bishop / Yellow-rumped Widow or Kaapse Flap.
These are one of my favorite birds in the summertime to sit and observe, with the males being dressed in black with yellow shoulders and rump they stand out a mile grass velds in the Dullstroom area.
The Yellow Bishop is patchily distributed in the highlands of South East Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Eastern Angola. They are more widely spread from East Africa south towards South Africa.
In South Africa, they are found along the eastern escarpment from the Limpopo Province south to the Eastern and Western Cape. They are also locally found in Namaqualand Northern Cape.
Yellow Bishops inhabits a wide diversity of habitats including coastal and mountain fynbos, cultivated areas, rank vegetation near streams and montane grasslands.
They are found from sea level all the way up to 3000 meters above sea level.
Yellow Bishops feeds on the ground and perches on grasses. They eat both seeds and insects. They hawk termite alates aerially and eats them on the ground. They also eat maize, rice, and millet as well as grass seeds.
When it comes to breeding the Yellow Bishop Male is Polygynous. Some males have at least 3-4 females. They are solitary nesters and territory sizes can range up to 0.4ha, territories are sometimes clustered like along streams for instance.
One of the favorite things to sit and observe with bird watchers is the male chasing intruders from his territory, flying at them with fluffed out plumage. They are aggressive towards male Black-winged Red Bishop and sometimes Red-collared Widowbirds.
The males display a Bumble-flight display with puffed feathers tail depressed and calls in zigzag flight.
The male initiates 2 or more nests usually around 25 meters apart. The male builds the frame starting with the entrance ring woven around live stems of the supporting plant. The nest is woven with strong strips of grass. The female adds ling of grass seed-heads. The nests are well hidden in dense grass or shrub normally 20cm to 1.7m above the ground.
The Yellow Bishop female normally lays eggs in December to February in Summer Rainfall areas and August to October in Winter Rainfall areas.
The female is liable to desert the nest if the nest is disturbed so it’s important not to observe them too closely. It is suspected that the Dederick Cuckoo might be a brood parasite for the Yellow Bishop.
The Yellow Bishop is one of the species birders watchers enjoy finding in the grass veld and wetlands around Dullstroom.
Information provided by Roberts Birds of Southern Africa Guide
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