Chrysocorythus rufobrunnea (Serinus rufobrunneus)
Geographical distribution and habitat
The Principé seedeater is a resident of the archipelago of São Tomé and Principe (Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe). A mountainous group of islands in the gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa. Chrysocorythus rufobrunnea is only found on this specific archipelago, and is described as a bird species that lives more on fruits, buds and insects than on seeds. The big beak seems to be in relation to this menu. On some of the islands, this species is a fairly common bird in forested mountain areas. Observations can vary in quantities from season to season. This serin is also seen in the vicinity of settlements. On São Tomé and Principe the nests were found during the periods June-August and December-January.
Size: 11-13 cm. (4.3-5.1 inch)
Description and subspecies
Male and female have no differences in appearance. There are three subspecies described:
-C. r. rufobrunneus; Island Principe
-C. r. thomensis; with cream colored throat band, São Tomé Island
-C. r. fradei; orange-brown color, island of Boné de Jóquei
Whether the Principé seedeater really can be considered as a member of the genus Chrysocorythus should be left to the specialists. There are suspicions of affinity with Chrysocorythus striolatus (Streaky seedeater). Remarkable for a member of the serin family is the cinnamon-colored brown and the comparatively short, unmarked tail. Whether these birds where ever imported to Europe is not known.