Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Black-winged Bishop (Euplectes hordeaceus)


French: Euplecte monseigneur German: Flammenweber Spanish: Obispo alinegro
Other common names: Black-winged Red Bishop

Loxia hordeacea


, 1758,

“In Indiis“


Sometimes placed with E. aureus and E. gierowii in a separate genus, Groteiplectes. In captivity, reported as having hybridized with E. ardens and with “red bishop” (probably E. franciscanus). Birds in NE of range sometimes separated as race craspedopterus (described from Ethiopia), supposedly differing in having pale (not black) undertail-coverts, but variation individual, rather than regional, and naming of geographical races considered unwarranted. Treated as monotypic.


S Mauritania, Gambia, N & SW Senegal, C & S Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast E to extreme SW Niger, C Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, S Chad, SW Sudan, South Sudan and W Ethiopia, S discontinuously to Gabon, Congo, DRCongo (except C forested region), Uganda, W & SE Kenya, W Rwanda, W Burundi, much of Tanzania (including Zanzibar and Pemba I), N & W Angola, Zambia, Malawi, N & E Zimbabwe and C Mozambique; also São Tomé, where perhaps introduced#R.

Descriptive notes

12 cm; male 22–29 g, female 17–21 g. Moderately short-tailed bishop. Male breeding has forehead, crown and nape orange-red to deep scarlet (intensity of red... read more


Song, in flight and from perch, of three parts, with ticking and sizzling notes, "chussaka-... read more


Tall grassland, also savanna and cultivated areas, clearings in forested country, and overgrown... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly grass seeds, particularly those of Panicum maximum, Hyparrhenia, Pennisetum, Rottboellia;... read more


Season Jul–Aug in Senegal, Ghana and Togo, Aug–Sept in Mauritania, Mali, Liberia and Burkina Faso, Aug–Nov in Gambia,... read more


Generally resident, but forms roving flocks in non-breeding season. Three ringed individuals in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to abundant in many parts of its extensive range.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2019). Black-winged Bishop (Euplectes hordeaceus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 November 2019).