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Black-eared Seedeater | Crithagra mennelli

The Black-eared Seedeater 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-eared Seedeater (Latin name Crithagra mennelli) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Crithagra mennelli can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 882 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1130. You will find a picture of the Black-eared Seedeater on page 1121.

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.

This bird is known as Black-eared Canary in the Roberts 6th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Serinus mennelli in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Black-eared Seedeater is known in Afrikaans as Swartoorkanarie.

The Black-eared Seedeater is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Black-eared Seedeater has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 15 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured brown. The Crithagra mennelli has a white coloured throat, brown legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Crithagra mennelli 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 brown

Legs are brown

Throat is white

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Black-eared Seedeater is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

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

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

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Black-eared Seedeater 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 3 eggs and they are coloured green.

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

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

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Black-eared Seedeater is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in 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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