Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Near Threatened

Protea Canary (Crithagra leucoptera)


French: Serin bifascié German: Proteagirlitz Spanish: Serín de las proteas
Other common names: Protea Seedeater

Crithagra leucoptera


, 1871,

Paarl, south-west Western Cape, South Africa




SW South Africa (S Western Cape E to SW Eastern Cape).

Descriptive notes

15–16 cm; 18–24·8 g. Large, drab-coloured finch with black chin and whitish throat, and conical bill. Forehead to upperparts are grey-brown, finely streaked... read more


Song, from tops of bushes and trees, loud and fairly typical of genus, including various fluty... read more


Coastal and lower montane bush, particularly mature Protea shrubs and dense tall shrubs,... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly seeds, buds, flowers and fruit of Protea, also of other plants; some insects taken. Seeds include those of Protea... read more


Season Aug–Oct. Monogamous. Solitary nester. Male displays by making long gliding flight, interspersed with deep wingflaps and loud... read more


Resident. Probably some short-distance wandering, e.g. has occurred N of breeding area in semi-arid... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted range species: present in Cape Fynbos EBA. Uncommon to locally common. Occurs at densities of 6... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Protea Canary (Crithagra leucoptera). 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 20 February 2020).