Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

White-bellied Canary (Crithagra dorsostriata)


French: Serin à ventre blanc German: Weißbauchgirlitz Spanish: Serín dorsiestriado

Crithagra dorsostriata


, 1887,

Wembere, Tabora, Tanzania


Has sometimes been thought conspecific with C. flaviventris, but probably closer to C. mozambica. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. d. maculicollis (Sharpe, 1895) – extreme SE South Sudan, E, C & S Ethiopia, Somalia, NE Uganda and N & C Kenya.
  • C. d. dorsostriata Reichenow, 1887 – SE Uganda, W Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • C. d. taruensis (van Someren, 1921) – C & SE Kenya S to NE & C Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–13 cm; 12–18 g. Small to medium-sized, stubby-billed finch with slightly notched tail and prominent white belly. Male nominate race has forehead and lores to... read more


    Song a series of loud, sweet, musical phrases and trills interspersed with several harsher notes, e... read more


    Lowland and submontane arid and semi-arid bush, acacia (Acacia) woodland, dense thorn-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds of grasses and small shrubs. Forages on the ground, in low vegetation and in bushes and low trees. Singly, in pairs and in... read more


    Season Mar–Jul, also Sept–Feb. Nest a small cup of plant fibres, lichens, dry grass, fine roots, twigs, animal hair and... read more


    Resident and partially nomadic. Outside breeding season, gathers in large flocks that roam... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to common; rare S of 5°30' S. Common around Dar-es-Salaam, on Tanzanian coast, where population is considered to have... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). White-bellied Canary (Crithagra dorsostriata). 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 29 February 2020).