Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Black-throated Canary (Crithagra atrogularis)


Taxonomy

French: Serin à gorge noire German: Angolagirlitz Spanish: Serín gorjinegro
Other common names: Black-throated Seedeater
Taxonomy:

Linaria atrogularis

A. Smith

, 1836,

around Kurrichane (Zeerust), North West Province, South Africa

.

In past considered conspecific with both C. reichenowi and C. xanthopygia. Relationships with C. leucopygia unclear; previously treated as conspecific with C. rothschildi. Race somereni tentatively recognized, but morphological and vocal differences from nominate not well established; further study desirable. Birds from SW Zambia (Chunga Pool, in Sesheke) with cinnamon-buff tinge on underparts described as race seshekeensis, but differences from semideserti considered minimal. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. somereni (E. J. O. Hartert, 1912) – NE DRCongo, C, SW & SE Uganda, W Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and NW Tanzania.
  • C. a. lwenarum (C. M. N. White, 1944) – SE Gabon, S Congo, C & S DRCongo, C Angola, N & C Zambia and SW Tanzania.
  • C. a. semideserti (Roberts, 1932) – S & E Angola and SW Zambia S to NE Namibia, N Botswana, W Zimbabwe and N South Africa (NW Limpopo).
  • C. a. deserti (Reichenow, 1918) – SW Angola S to S Namibia and W South Africa (Northern Cape and North West Province).
  • C. a. atrogularis (A. Smith, 1836) – Zimbabwe (except W), SE Botswana and N South Africa (SW Limpopo).
  • C. a. impigra (Clancey, 1959) – C South Africa (SE North West Province and Mpumalanga S to Free State, Eastern Cape and W KwaZulu-Natal) and Lesotho.
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–12 cm; 8–14 g. Small, slim and pale grey-brown finch with short, conical bill and bright yellow rump. Male nominate race has forehead to crown and upperparts... read more

    Voice

    Song, throughout year but mainly Oct–Mar in S of range (where one of the most persistent... read more

    Habitat

    Ranges from lowland dry, open savanna with acacia (Acacia) thorn-scrub to broadleaf ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds, also buds and fruits; some invertebrates. Seeds and buds include those of grasses and flowerheads of Asteraceae, e.g. ... read more

    Breeding

    Season Sept–Jun (mainly Nov–Jan or Dec–Apr) in Zambia and Jun–Apr (mainly Oct–Mar) in South Africa; probably... read more

    Movements

    Resident and partially nomadic. In non-breeding season large flocks wander in search of food over... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in S of range; local in N & E areas. Race somereni scarce in W Kenya. Has expanded into arid areas of range following irrigation... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2018). Black-throated Canary (Crithagra atrogularis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/61301 on 16 December 2018).