Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.)

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Broekhuysen, G J en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Craig, Adrian John Fergus Knott en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-03-14T07:22:24Z
dc.date.available 2016-03-14T07:22:24Z
dc.date.issued 1973 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Craig, A. 1973. Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.). University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17727
dc.description.abstract The red bishop bird, Euplectes orix, is a widespread and locally abundant member of the weaver family, the Ploceidae. It is found over most of Southern Africa, and as, far north as Uganda in the Eastern savannah belt. Large flocks may be found in association with other seedeaters, and the breeding colonies in reeds or tall grass in marshy areas may contain from five to several thousand birds. Recently it has also been recorded as nesting in standing crops in some areas. The adult birds are sparrow-sized, 12-15 cm in length and weighing 20-30 gm. The wing-length in the males ranges from 70-83 mm, and in females from 64-72 mm. Mackworth- Praed and Grant (1962) mention that birds from the Cape are larger, and that there appears to be a decrease in size of birds further north; measurements taken in this study seem to confirm this. During most of the year, both sexes are a mottled light brown colour, with a pale streak above the eye, and the underside pale to almost white, with darker streaks. However, at the beginning of the breeding season the adult males moult into their striking nuptial plumage: the abdomen and face mask are black, while the crown, throat, breast, rump, upper and under tail coverts are scarlet. The mantle feathers are tawny, but the wings and tail remain brown. The bill colour also changes from flesh-coloured to black. Hall and Moreau (1970), whose nomenclature is used for all the passerine species mentioned, regard three species Euplectes orix, franciscus and nigroventris as comprising the "orix superspecies". All three retain the brown wings and tail in the male breeding dress, but show variations in the extent of the red and black plumage. There is no apparent overlap in their ranges, or any evidence of inter-breeding. Two further species, E. hordeceu and E. gierowii, differ in that the wings and tail of the male are also black during the breeding season. Although slightly larger, their plumage is in other respects very similar, and these five species are termed a "species group". There is surprisingly little published information on any of these species. Lack (1935) first described territorial behaviour and polygyny in Euplectes hordeaceus, and later Moreau and Moreau (1938) and Fuggles-Couchman (1942) compared the ecology of E. hordeaceus and E. nigroventris. Skead (1956) produced a valuable basic study of E. orix, and showed it to be polygynous. Emlen (1957) made observations on several Euplectes species in Rhodesia, but the species orix and hordeaceus are confused in his paper, and it is not always clear which he is referring to. Later studies dealing with E. orix by Brooke (1964), Schmidt (1968) and Woodall (1971) are primarily concerned with clutch size, breeding seasons and nesting success, rather than behaviour. However, Crook (1962, 1963, 1964) has produced an important series of papers comprising a comparative study of behaviour in the entire weaver family. He refers mostly to the genus Euplectes, but also quotes observations on individual species, including E. orix. Collias and Collias (1964) have described nest-building behaviour in the weavers, but also mainly at the generic level. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Zoology en_ZA
dc.subject.other Ornithology en_ZA
dc.title Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.) en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Craig, A. J. F. K. (1973). <i>Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.)</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17727 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Craig, Adrian John Fergus Knott. <i>"Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.)."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences, 1973. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17727 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Craig AJFK. Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.). [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences, 1973 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17727 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Craig, Adrian John Fergus Knott AB - The red bishop bird, Euplectes orix, is a widespread and locally abundant member of the weaver family, the Ploceidae. It is found over most of Southern Africa, and as, far north as Uganda in the Eastern savannah belt. Large flocks may be found in association with other seedeaters, and the breeding colonies in reeds or tall grass in marshy areas may contain from five to several thousand birds. Recently it has also been recorded as nesting in standing crops in some areas. The adult birds are sparrow-sized, 12-15 cm in length and weighing 20-30 gm. The wing-length in the males ranges from 70-83 mm, and in females from 64-72 mm. Mackworth- Praed and Grant (1962) mention that birds from the Cape are larger, and that there appears to be a decrease in size of birds further north; measurements taken in this study seem to confirm this. During most of the year, both sexes are a mottled light brown colour, with a pale streak above the eye, and the underside pale to almost white, with darker streaks. However, at the beginning of the breeding season the adult males moult into their striking nuptial plumage: the abdomen and face mask are black, while the crown, throat, breast, rump, upper and under tail coverts are scarlet. The mantle feathers are tawny, but the wings and tail remain brown. The bill colour also changes from flesh-coloured to black. Hall and Moreau (1970), whose nomenclature is used for all the passerine species mentioned, regard three species Euplectes orix, franciscus and nigroventris as comprising the "orix superspecies". All three retain the brown wings and tail in the male breeding dress, but show variations in the extent of the red and black plumage. There is no apparent overlap in their ranges, or any evidence of inter-breeding. Two further species, E. hordeceu and E. gierowii, differ in that the wings and tail of the male are also black during the breeding season. Although slightly larger, their plumage is in other respects very similar, and these five species are termed a "species group". There is surprisingly little published information on any of these species. Lack (1935) first described territorial behaviour and polygyny in Euplectes hordeaceus, and later Moreau and Moreau (1938) and Fuggles-Couchman (1942) compared the ecology of E. hordeaceus and E. nigroventris. Skead (1956) produced a valuable basic study of E. orix, and showed it to be polygynous. Emlen (1957) made observations on several Euplectes species in Rhodesia, but the species orix and hordeaceus are confused in his paper, and it is not always clear which he is referring to. Later studies dealing with E. orix by Brooke (1964), Schmidt (1968) and Woodall (1971) are primarily concerned with clutch size, breeding seasons and nesting success, rather than behaviour. However, Crook (1962, 1963, 1964) has produced an important series of papers comprising a comparative study of behaviour in the entire weaver family. He refers mostly to the genus Euplectes, but also quotes observations on individual species, including E. orix. Collias and Collias (1964) have described nest-building behaviour in the weavers, but also mainly at the generic level. DA - 1973 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 1973 T1 - Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.) TI - Breeding behaviour and polygyny in the Red Bishop bird Euplectes orix (L.) UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17727 ER - en_ZA


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