Vaalnest reviews the Canary Yellow Bird

Posted by Collen on Tue January 12, 2016 in Birding in Vaal Marina.

The yellow canary (Crithagra flaviventris) is a small passerine bird in the finch family. A beautiful small majestic bird that is very common in our shores.

It is a resident breeder in much of the western and central regions of southern Africa and has been introduced to Ascension and St Helena islands. The yellow canary was formerly placed in the genus Serinus but phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences found that the genus was polyphyletic. The genus was therefore split and a number of species including the yellow canary were moved to the resurrected genus Crithagra. Here are some features to lookout for when spotting this small bird:

The yellow canary is typically 13 cm in length.
The adult male colour ranges from almost uniform yellow in the northwest of its range to streaked, olive backed birds in the southeast.
The underparts, rump and tail sides are yellow.
The female has grey-brown upperparts, black wings with yellow flight feathers, and a pale supercilium.
The underparts are white with brown streaking.
The juvenile resembles the female, but has heavier streaking.
 

This species is easily distinguished from the yellow-fronted canary by its lack of black facial markings, and its bill is less heavy than that of other similar African Crithagra species.

 

 

References

 

BirdLife International (2012). "Serinus flaviventris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

Zuccon, Dario; Prŷs-Jones, Robert; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Ericson, Per G.P. (2012). "The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62 (2): 581–596. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.002.

Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015.

Swainson, William (1827). "On several forms in ornithology not hitherto defined". Zoological Journal 3: 348.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Serinus flaviventris.

Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey and Warwick Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa (Struik 2002) ISBN 1-86872-721-1

Clement, Harris and Davis, Finches and Sparrows by ISBN 0-7136-8017-2