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Cape Canary | Serinus canicollis

The Cape 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 Cape Canary (Latin name Serinus canicollis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Serinus canicollis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 872 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1116. You will find a picture of the Cape 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.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Cape Canary is known in Afrikaans as Kaapse Kanarie.

The Cape Canary has a height of 14 cms and weighs around 15 gms. The head is coloured yellow while the bill is coloured grey. The Serinus canicollis has a grey coloured throat, pink legs and a yellow coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Serinus canicollis 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 yellow

Eyes are brown

Bill is grey

Legs are pink

Throat is grey

Back is yellow

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

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

The Serinus canicollis 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 Cape 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 1 to 5 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 Cape 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.

You can see the Cape Canary bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Cape Canary is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

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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