Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer)


French: Euplecte vorabé German: Tahaweber Spanish: Obispo coronigualdo

Loxia afra

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Africa = Senegal


This species and E. diadematus have sometimes been placed in a separate genus, Taha. Has hybridized with E. franciscanus in captivity. Proposed race ladoensis (described from South Sudan) subsumed into taha; validity of niassensis, description of which based on a single female (from Mitomoni, in S Tanzania), uncertain, as specimen not now available. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. a. afer (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – S Mauritania, Gambia, coastal regions of Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone, NE Ivory Coast, riverine areas of Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, SW Niger, N & C Nigeria, N, C & W Cameroon, N Central African Republic, W Sudan and Nile Valley, S to Congo along rivers, N DRCongo, and W Angola (Luanda region); sporadic records from Liberia, Chad and Gabon.
  • E. a. strictus Hartlaub, 1857 – highland plateau of C Ethiopia.
  • E. a. taha A. Smith, 1836 – South Sudan, W Kenya, C Tanzania, SE DRCongo, S Angola, N & SW Zambia, N Namibia, N & E Botswana, W Zimbabwe, E South Africa and Lesotho lowlands; occasional records from Uganda, Swaziland and Mozambique.
  • Introduced populations (escaped cagebirds) established in USA and West Indies, possibly also in parts of Iberian Peninsula#R.

    Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 11–20 g. Small bishop with very short tail. Male nominate race breeding has forehead, crown and nape golden-yellow, hindneck feathers narrowly fringed... read more


    Song, given from perch or during approach flight in courtship, some gargling introductory notes... read more


    Open grassy valleys, generally at low altitudes, but in Ethiopia to 1800 m; breeds in very wet... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet primarily grass seeds; captives readily take animal food, including mealworms, caterpillars, termites (Isoptera), wasps (Hymenoptera)... read more


    Season mainly Jul–Oct from W Africa E to W Sudan and in NE DRCongo, Oct in Ethiopia, Jan–Apr in S DRCongo and Angola; records... read more


    In S Africa may be nomadic, flocks arriving to breed following local heavy rains, and perhaps not... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally abundant in many regions. Outside natural range, has established populations, primarily through escaped cagebirds, in USA and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. (2020). Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer). 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 25 February 2020).