Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

East African Citril (Crithagra hyposticta)


French: Serin est-africain German: Streifengirlitz Spanish: Serín keniata
Other common names: Southern Citril

Spinus citrinelloides hypostictus


, 1904,

Moshi, Kilimanjaro


Commonly considered conspecific with C. citrinelloides and C. frontalis, but differs from latter in characters given under that species and from former in its grey vs black lower face (2); less prominent (or no) yellow supercilium (1); streaks on upper breast vs none in male (2); slow vs fast song (at least 2)#R; moreover, C. c. kikuyensis sympatric with race brittoni in small area of W Kenya. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. hyposticta (Reichenow, 1904) – SE Kenya to extreme E Zambia, Malawi and adjacent N Mozambique.
  • C. h. brittoni (Traylor, 1970) – SE South Sudan and extreme W Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 10–15·5 g. Small finch with conical pointed bill and slightly notched tail. Adult male has indistinct or no yellow supercilium, crown and upperparts olive-green,... read more


    Rapid, tinkling song recalls that of Serinus flavivertex but includes buzzy “zwee” and... read more


    Found in forest clearings, second growth and cultivated areas, as well as in rank growth along... read more

    Food and feeding

    Very few data; reported to be fond of seeds of Cosmos and figs (Ficus spp.) in Malawi, takes seeds of Hagenia... read more


    Very little known. Season apparently Mar–Aug and Nov–Jan (mainly Apr–May during long wet season in N of range), with records in Feb and Apr... read more


    Primarily resident. Wanders in non-breeding season and makes altitudinal movements to lower levels... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common and widespread. Old records from N highlands of Mozambique, close to border with Malawi, but continued presence in this area... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). East African Citril (Crithagra hyposticta). 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 on 25 February 2020).