Digging deep into the genus Euplectes
This webinar explores what Bishops and Widows have to teach us. It is part of a series delving into how to create a better understanding of birds leading to an improved birding experience.
The genus Euplectes belongs to the weaver family, the Ploceidae, and comprises the bishops and widowbirds. All 17 species of Euplectes are native to sub-Saharan Africa, and are well represented in South Africa. All members of this genus have colourful males, and more drab, brown, well camouflaged females. Males take on their breeding plumage during a spring or early summer moult, losing their colourful plumage at the end of the breeding season, taking on the drabber colours of the females. In most of the widowbirds, the males also develop a significantly longer tail than their nonbreeding selves or females possess. The genus has much to teach us about the biology of birds, and in particular, the role of the competing selection pressures in avian evolution. We make use of this genus to delve into these concepts in a simple and easy to understand way.
This is a joint initiative between Learn-the-Birds and the Witwatersrand Bird Club.