Black-throated Canary

Crithagra atrogularis

The Black-throated Canary is a timid and inconspicuous seed-eating bird inhabiting open and dry grasslands and savannas, usually near a reliable source of water. They forage mainly on the ground and, in addition to seeds, will also feed on flowers, nectar and soft-bodied insects.

Black-throated Canaries may breed throughout the year, but there’s a definite peak in the summer months. While they form flocks numbering up to five few dozen when not breeding , when nesting pairs are monogamous, solitary and territorial. Their nests are cup-shaped and built of grass and fine twigs in a fork on a tree branch or at the base of a palm frond. The female takes sole responsibility for the incubation of the clutch of 2-4 eggs over a 2 week period. Both parents feed the chicks, which are able to leave the nest when they’re between 2 and 3 weeks old. They are small birds; adults measure around 11cm in length and weigh only about 12g.

The Black-throated Canary is a common bird throughout most of South Africa and can be found in all our provinces with the exception of the Western Cape. Beyond our borders their distribution is very patchy but stretches as far as Gabon in the west and Uganda and Kenya in the east. The species is considered to be of least concern.


11 thoughts on “Black-throated Canary

  1. naturebackin

    I really like the featured image in particular. I looked it up to find it does not occur where we live but I need to look out for it if and when we travel to where it is found. I was sad to see that it is a species captured for the caged-bird trade.


    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you, Carol!
      From your end of the country they do seem to be more common in the higher-lying areas nearer to “the ‘Berg” and they seem to be especially prolific on the Highveld – perhaps that’s the reason for their Afrikaans name of “Bergkanarie”. The one place I’ve found them to be a near certain sighting is the rest camp of the Mountain Zebra National Park.

      Liked by 1 person


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