Orange Bishop – Not #474

Not countable and thus not life bird #474 but I did want to see one before I left Southern California, and after asking a few local experts on OrangeCountyBirding, it turned out there was a population only about 10 miles away in the Santa Ana “River”, so I drove over to Huntington Beach this morning before work, walked up the levee, and in less than half a kilometer heard its metallic song. It took a few minutes to actually see it, but when I did it was unmistakeable:

Bright orange bird; thick bill; black wings, forehead, and cap

As this photo proves, I still need a good, longer bird lens with a tele-extender. Now where are the Pin-tailed Whydahs?

7 Responses to “Orange Bishop – Not #474”

  1. Robert Young Says:

    – why not countable? what rule would it break? (I’m not a birder, so I have no idea) it’s not in a cage or at a feeder?
    – leaving SoCal? you must be so happy.

  2. Aaron Says:

    “before I left Southern California” sounds like you’re moving soon? So, where to Elliotte? Consider a stint in NorCal, water’s not as warm, but lots of birds, techies, and good ethnic food.

  3. John Cowan Says:

    He’s going home, home to Brooklyn, where the food is wonderful, the architecture is interesting, and the people even talk like him (except that most of ’em can tell “pen” and “pin” apart, and he can’t). :-) Welcome back.

  4. Brian Ruff Says:

    Orange Bishops were introduced into California; Native to sub-Saharan Africa -so he didn’t see it in it’s native habitat. Sort of like seeing something at a zoo – thus out of bounds.

  5. Robert Young Says:

    >> Native to sub-Saharan Africa

    Since any kind of Bishops only got to any part of Africa courtesy of invading Europeans, I guess they chose the name too. I wonder if sub-Sahran Africans gave it a name first??

  6. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    Almost certainly, but they likely named it in Hausa or Swahili or some other African languages. Everyone gets to make up their own names in their native tongue. Even in English it’s also Red Bishop, Grenadier Weaver, Orange Bishop Weaver, and Orange Weaver. In French it’s Euplecte ignicolore. The official Latin name is Euplectes orix.

  7. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    Exotic species like Orange Bishop, Rock Pigeon, and Red-crowned Parrot are not generally considered to be “countable” until 25 or so years have passed since the initial release; and there’s substantial evidence of a breeding, expanding, sustainable population.

    In practice, records committees tend to be very conservative about accepting species. Rock Pigeons weren’t accepted anywhere in the U.S. until the 1970s, and there’s no doubt that they’re well established. Records committees are a lot more willing to accept birds like the Cattle Egret and the Eurasian Collared Dove that at least arguably arrive under their own power. (Those two are questionable, but at least there’s no clear evidence that humans introduced these species into the United States. The Cattle Egret may even have made it over to South America from Africa under its own power, though no one’s really sure.)

    There are also cases where an exotic has been accepted too soon, and then disappeared. The Florida Budgerigar population was allowed onto the state list when the population was in the tens of thousands. It has now been reduced to a few hundred and may well be extirpated in the state in the near future.

Leave a Reply