878. Yellow Canary Crithagra flaviventris, Serinus flaviventris
Order: Passeriformes. Family: Fringillidae
13-14 cm. In both sexes the bills are horn-coloured, with a pink base; legs and feet are dark pinkish-brown and eyes are brown.
Males might vary from bright yellow bright yellow rumps in the north-west to dark-backed birds with greenish rumps in the south-east. The underparts, rump and tail sides are yellow. In the nominate race, the forehead, eyebrows and cheeks are yellow; crown, nape and mantle olive green with brown flecks. The eye-stripes, ear-coverts and sides of the neck are olive-khaki, and the malar stripes are olive-green. The back is olive-khaki and the rump and upper tail coverts greenish yellow. The tail and wings are dusky brown, feathers edged green or yellow. The underparts are a rich yellow; greenish yellow on the breast and greyish-yellow on the flanks. Bill horn with a pinkish base; eyes, legs and feet brown.
The female is dull-coloured with bold streaks. Grey-brown upperparts, black wings with yellow flight feathers, and a pale supercilium.
Juveniles are more heavily streaked than females and have greener upperparts. Crown, nape, mantle and back are pale greyish olive, streaked brown; eye-stripes, ear-coverts and malar stripes greyish olive; eye-brows and lower cheeks buffy white. Rump and upper tail coverts yellowish olive. Throat, breast and flanks buffy white with brown streaks.
Similar species: The bill is always slighter than that of Brimstone Canary
, Brimstone Canary is larger with a heavier bill and green (not yellow) forehead; more green overall (but notice geographic variation in Yellow Canary with birds from the Cape area being greener). Brimstone Canary has a much shorter supercilium that quickly narrows behind the eye. This species is easily distinguished from the Yellow-fronted Canary
by its lack of black face markings, and its bill is less heavy than that of other similar Canary species. The Yellow-fronted Canary has a more brightly contrasting yellow rump, duller yellow underparts, a white-tipped tail, and is smaller. The White-throated Canary is similar to the female Yellow Canary, but larger, has a heavier bill, is less streaked, and the yellow-green rump contrasts more with the greyish-brown back and mantle.Taxonomy
There are four subspecies:C. f. flaviventris
: Western and southern South Africa and southern Namibia.C. f. marshalli
: Highveld (high-altitude plateau) of east-central South Africa and lowlands of western Lesotho. Male has lemon-chrome rump and underparts and greenish-tellow crown.C. f. damarensis
: North-central South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and south-western Angola. Yellower upperparts than nominate, face markings less contrasting, and rump lemon-chrome.C. f. guillarmodi
: Lesotho highlands. Larger than nominate; broader dark centres to crown and back feathers. Female: The sides of the face are darker grey than the nominate, and the throat and breast more heavily striped.Distribution
Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from south-western Angola through Namibia and Botswana to much of South Africa, largely excluding the provinces in the east, common in the western arid habitats of South Africa, including most of the Eastern Cape and the North West Province.Habitat:
It generally prefers Karoo scrub, montane grassland, arid savanna and fynbos.Movements and migrations:
Resident and nomadic, sometimes migrating out of its usual distribution in drought years.Diet:
It forages on the ground or in trees for seeds, flowers, nectar and insects. Breeding
Monogamous, territorial solitary nester, with nests spaced few and far between. The nest is built solely by the female in about 3-4 days, consisting of a cup of dry plant stems, rootlets, soft weeds, tendrils, rootlets and strips of bark. The interior is lined with softer material, such as the fluffy seeds of Karoo rosemaries (Eriocephalus
) or milkweeds (Asclepias
), wool and sometimes a few feathers. It is typically placed in a shrub or a small tree. Egg-laying season is almost year-round in arid areas, peaking from July-October in the Western Cape and from August-April elsewhere. The female lays a clutch of between two and five white eggs marked with brown or black, which are incubated solely by the female and hatch after an incubation period of 12-16 days. The chicks are fed both parents, leaving the nest after about 16 days.Call
A fast, jumbled series of chissick
notes. http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Crith ... aviventrisStatus
A common, nomadic resident that gathers in loose flocks when not breeding.