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Black-throated Canary | Crithagra atrogularis

The Black-throated Canary is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Fringillidae bird family group which includes birds such as Chaffinches, Canaries, Buntings.

The description for the Black-throated Canary (Latin name Crithagra atrogularis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Crithagra atrogularis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 870 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1120. You will find a picture of the Black-throated Canary on page 1136.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

The Latin name for this bird is Serinus atrogularis in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Black-throated Canary is known in Afrikaans as Bergkanarie.

The Black-throated Canary has a height of 12 cms and weighs around 13 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured pink. The Crithagra atrogularis has a white coloured throat, pink legs and a black, white coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Crithagra atrogularis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black, brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is pink

Legs are pink

Throat is white

Back is black, white

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Black-throated Canary is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Crithagra atrogularis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

The Crithagra atrogularis forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Black-throated Canary is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured blue.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Black-throated Canary is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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