Reichard's Seedeater, Stripe-breasted Seedeater
Crithagra reichardi (Serinus reichardi)
Geographical distribution and habitat
The nominate form of this Crithagra species (Crithagra reichardi) lives in parts of Tanzania, Zaire, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The subspecies is found more to the north, in the south of Ethiopia and on the highlands of Kenya and Sudan. It is remarkable that this species has several, small and separated distribution areas. This may indicate specific preferences in terms of food, habitat or climate. This serin seems to have a connection with the Brachystegia trees of which the native name is ‘miombo’. Also regions with Baikiaea trees (Zimbabwe teak) are preferred. Crithagra reichardi searches for grass seeds on the ground. There are pictures of which this serin species eats from a kind of thistle. Observations are reported where Reichard’s Seedeater was seen catching flying insects and eating figs. It is a rare observed Crithagra species in nature. In some regions it is a local common bird.
Size: 12 - 13 cm (4.7-5.1 inch)
Description and subspecies
Both male and female have practically the same color and markings; young birds have a less bright white throat spot and the supercilium, which runs to the upper beak, is more creamy / white in color. The male is slightly brighter in color, especially on the chin and throat where the females have some striping. This striping on the chin of female birds is more often seen in different Crithagra species. Crithagra reichardi reichardi can be defined from Crithagra reichardi striatipecta because this subspecies, shows more intense striping on the chin, throat and flanks.
In terms of taxonomy, this Crithagra species has been pushed back and forth, although Reichenow first described the species as Poliospiza reichardi. Later this species was considered a subspecies of Crithagra gularis, Streaky-headed seedeater, even strongly related to its subspecies Crithagra gularis canicapillus. It appears that Crithagra reichardi and Crithagra gularis canicapillus coexist in certain areas as species. The Reichard’s Seedeater is described as an un notable living bird species. Crithagra reichardi is certainly not a common bird in European aviculture. Reichard’s Seedeater (Crithagra reichardi) and Black-eared seedeater (Crithagra mennelli) can be confused with each other, although the latter species has more and clearly black cheeks.