The White-throated Canary is a bird of heathland and arid scrub that feeds on fruit, seeds and insects. They’re usually seen alone or in pairs, with small flocks of up to 8 individuals forming from time to time and congregating in their dozens at water points. They will also occasionally form mixed groups with other species of canary sharing the same habitat. It would appear that they need ready access to water and they’ll often cover considerable distances to drink during the heat of the day.
Female White-throated Canaries build cup-shaped nests in small trees or shrubs and she also takes sole responsibility for the 2-3 week incubation period, but the clutch of 2-5 chicks are cared for by both parents after hatching. The chicks leave the nest when they’re almost 3 weeks old. These canaries may breed at any time of the year, though there is a distinct peak in nesting activity during the months of spring. Adults weigh around 27g and measure about 15cm in length.
In South Africa the White-throated Canary is found in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape Provinces as well as the southwestern half of the Free State. It also occurs widely in Namibia and marginally extends into Angola, Botswana and Lesotho. The IUCN evaluates the species as being of least concern though invasive exotic plants threaten their preferred habitat in several parts of especially the Western Cape.