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This small (about 12 cm in length), attractive, fiery coloured bird is a breeding male of Southern Red Bishop, a seed-eater related to weavers. Its body is rather sparrow-like, and its female can be confounded with sparrow females; all drub coloured, with no distinctive signs. On the contrary, the breeding male, in its flamboyant colours, can be confounded only with species from this genus.
Observed near human habitations along the road from regional airport to Opuwo, in the part of Kunene region that is currently recovering from drought. Around habitations, the landscape is mainly open-wooded mopane and savannah, with grasses and flowering plants recovering. However, the southern parts of Kunene region are still very dry.
It always amuses me to find the 'Southern' cousin of a bird I know well from northern Africa - here are my two spottings of the Northern red bishop, one from Nigeria (https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/71...) and one from Sudan (https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/16...). This second one I found particularly attractive, since the bird was clicked few times at the moment it changes colors, and goes from that "non-descriptive-sparrow-likeness" to acquire that easily recognized flamboyant and fiery male coloration.
Lat: -17.87, Long: 15.08
Spotted on Feb 18, 2020
Submitted on Mar 24, 2020