Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Red Bishops

Our bird feeder this morning was ablaze with four male Red Bishop birds in full breeding plumage - brilliant scarlet with black masks and aprons on their bellies. There is a lovely Zulu story about a warrior who stopped to rest under a tree while escaping from some enemies but a whole flock of Red Bishops descended on the tree giving away his hiding place - he cursed them and turned them into brilliant red flowers and that is why we have the Coral Tree now.

The males have a harem of between four to six wives whom they visit in turn at their nests in the reed beds.

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