Serinus donaldsoni 

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Northern Grosbeak canary

Crithagra donaldsoni (Serinus donaldsoni)

Geographical distribution and habitat

Crithagra donaldsoni is observed in East Africa in Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya where the birds live widely spread. The biotope is characterized by dryness. The open areas where they live are overgrown with thorny acacia. Crithagra donaldsoni is usually found living alone or in pairs. Birds that don't have eggs or young birds lead a nomadic life. About the diet in nature is not so much known. People have seen them eat buds, leaves and pods of the Acacia. Crithagra donaldsoni has a specific call that carries far. The singing of the birds is not so "canary-like" than many other Crithagra species.

Size: 15-16 cm (5,9-6,3 inch)

Discription and subspecies

There is clearly a gender difference between male and femaleAn adult male has a yellow chest and bellywhere the female is grey and has a black grey striped chestBoth the man and the female have a yellow rump.


In some publications C. donaldsoni and Crithagra burtoni are considered as specie and subspecies. The male C. donaldsoni has a head pattern that resembles to the male Yellow-bellied canary (Crithagra flaviventris), the male White-bellied canary (Crithagra dorsostriata) and the male of Brimstone canary (Crithagra sulphurata). However Crithagra donaldsoni is larger and the beak is bigger. Another distinctive feature of the Crithagra donaldsoni is the pink beak colour. The Crithagra burtoni female’s chest is not grey but green. Crithagra donaldsoni is certainly not a commonly held bird among the members of the European Society of Serinus Breeders (ESSB). These birds have been imported in small numbers. There is a good chance that these birds are seen as a subspecies of the Brimstone canary (Crithagra sulphurata).



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