Lemon-breasted canary, Lemon-breasted serin
Crithagra citrinipectus (Serinus citrinipectus)
Geographical distribution and habitat
Lives in parts of the South-East of Africa in countries far below the equator. The species can be found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, the South of Tansania and the North of South-Africa. Sometimes in the same areas in which the Greensinger Crithagra mozambica is found. The Lemon-breasted Canary lives a nomadic life in dry areas. It lives in grasslands with scattered low vegetation and at edges of woody areas. Searches for food also at the surface. It’s been determined that they built a nest preferably in certain species of (wine) palms, using partly the brown fibers of these palms as building material. The inside of the nest gets finished with softer materials.
Size: 12.5 cm (4.9 Inch)
Discription and subspecies
Male and female are easy to differentiate. Only the male shows a lemon/yellow throat and chest. The female shows cream brown at the whole body and the head markings are less sharp. Both sexes show a prominent yellow rump. Both sexes show beard stripes. The male shows a nearly white cheak stain and above the beack two yellow/white dots. The beack is bicoloured, the upper beack is brown/black. C.citrinipectus can hardly be confused with other species. This applies for male and female. No subspecies are known, just small regional differences arising from widely separated locations.
Only since 1960 accepted as a separated specie. At first these birds were seen as hybrids from C.atrogularis and C.mozambica. The specie is more tolerant as many other Crithagra species. In the wild nests are found -depending on area- during the period from November to March. The first imported birds bred during our winter. During the breeding season the male is a busy singer. The mating courtship is less complex as, for example, from Alario Finches. Lemon-breasted Canaries, bred during several years in West-Europe, tend to nest early in spring or late in Autumn. Temperatures (minimum 10 degr.C./50F) and day length (14 hours) should be adapted to this. Growing maturity can be measured at the singing and courting of the male. They feed their chicks the first week with egg food, germinated seeds and some animal food. Nestlings of the Lemon-breasted Canary show yellow beak edges.