Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Principe Seedeater (Crithagra rufobrunnea)


French: Serin roux German: Príncipegirlitz Spanish: Serín de Príncipe
Other common names: Principe Canary

Linurgus rufobrunneus

G. R. Gray

, 1862,

Príncipe Island


Race thomensis appears to be more closely related to C. concolor (previously in genus Neospiza) than to the other two races#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. rufobrunnea (G. R. Gray, 1862) – Principe Seedeater – Príncipe Island, Gulf of Guinea, West Africa.
  • C. r. fradei (de Naurois, 1975) – I Boné de Jokei (Caroço), off S Príncipe.
  • C. r. thomensis (Bocage, 1888) – Sao Tome Seedeater – São Tomé I, in Gulf of Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12·5 cm; c. 21–26 g, 28–35 g (fradei). Smallish, rather short-tailed drab-­coloured finch with conical bill. Nominate race is almost... read more


    Song a slow series of warbling notes, trills and twitters, including high-pitched "pss-pss-pss... read more


    Primary and secondary forests, including gallery forest, dry woodlands, riverine and coastal... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly seeds, leaves and fruits; some insects. Includes fruits of Cecropia, Cestrum levigatum, leaves of Musanga... read more


    Season Mar, May–Aug and Oct–Jan. Solitary. Male sings for prolonged periods, spreading tail and fluttering half-opened wings... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Príncipe EBA and São Tomé EBA. Common on São Tomé; uncommon or scarce on Príncipe. Tiny island of Bone de Jókei... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Principe Seedeater (Crithagra rufobrunnea). 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 19 January 2020).