Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Papyrus Canary (Crithagra koliensis)


French: Serin du Koli German: Papyrusgirlitz Spanish: Serín de los papiros

Serinus capistratus koliensis

C. H. B. Grant and Mackworth-Praed

, 1952,

Onyulu’s, Koli River, Lango, Uganda


Has been treated as conspecific with C. capistrata, but probably closest to C. scotops, with which possibly conspecific. Monotypic.


C & SW Uganda, SW Kenya, E DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi and NW Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

10–11·5 cm; 11–16 g. Small finch with short conical bill. Male has head deep green, finely streaked darker on forehead and crown (may also be slightly... read more


Song a short series of high-pitched whistles, e.g. "sweet, tsiew chip, tsipee, tsitsit,... read more


Almost entirely restricted to papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) at 900–1600 m; visits... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly seeds of papyrus and small seeds from adjacent cultivations. Forages alone, in pairs and in small flocks of up to 15 individuals in... read more


Season Mar–Aug, possibly also Nov. Nest built entirely by female, a deep cup consisting entirely of woven papyrus heads, placed up to... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Local; uncommon or locally fairly common. In 1980s was considered Near-threatened because of potential threats of habitat destruction.

Recommended citation

Clement, P. (2020). Papyrus Canary (Crithagra koliensis). 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 21 February 2020).