Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-fronted Canary (Crithagra mozambica)


French: Serin du Mozambique German: Mosambikgirlitz Spanish: Serín frentiamarillo

Fringilla mozambica

Statius Müller

, 1776,



Birds on São Tomé, previously separated as race santhome, were introduced on that island in late 19th century and exhibit features within range of variation of mainland tando. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. caniceps (d’Orbigny, 1839) – extreme S Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia S to N Sierra Leone and E to Nigeria and N Cameroon.
  • C. m. punctigula (Reichenow, 1898) – C & S Cameroon.
  • C. m. barbata Heuglin, 1864 – S Chad, Central African Republic, SW & S Sudan and W & S South Sudan S to E DRCongo, Uganda, SW Kenya and NW & C Tanzania.
  • C. m. grotei (W. L. Sclater & Mackworth-Praed, 1931) – SE Sudan, E South Sudan and W & SW Ethiopia.
  • C. m. gommaensis (C. H. B. Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1945) – W Eritrea and NW & C Ethiopia.
  • C. m. tando (W. L. Sclater & Mackworth-Praed, 1918) – Gabon, S Congo, W & S DRCongo and N & W Angola; also São Tomé, where probably introduced.
  • C. m. samaliyae#R (C. M. N. White, 1947) – SE DRCongo, CE Angola, SW Tanzania and NE Zambia.
  • C. m. vansoni (Roberts, 1932) – SE Angola and NE Namibia E to SW Zambia.
  • C. m. mozambica (Statius Müller, 1776) – E Kenya S to C & S Mozambique, Zimbabwe, E & SE Botswana and NE South Africa (Limpopo and North West Province S to Free State).
  • C. m. granti (Clancey, 1957) – extreme S Mozambique, E Swaziland and E South Africa (Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal S to S Eastern Cape).
  • Introduced (nominate race) to Mafia I, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues, Assumption I, Hawaiian Is (Oahu) and Puerto Rico.

    Descriptive notes

    11–13 cm; 8·5–16·2 g. Small, short-tailed finch with broad supercilium and prominent face pattern. Male nominate race has lower forehead and supercilium bright... read more


    Song, often given in short bursts, a lively series of sweet, musical phrases e.g. "tseeu-tseeu... read more


    Lowland open woodlands, savannas with occasional trees and acacia (Acacia) thorn-scrub,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds, buds, flowers, leaves and some insects. Seeds principally of grasses and weed species, including those of Poa trivialis... read more


    Season May–Nov in W Africa, throughout year in E Africa, Nov–Apr (mostly Dec–Mar) in Zimbabwe, Sept–Mar in... read more


    Resident and partially nomadic. In non-breeding season large flocks wander in search of feeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common, locally abundant and widespread; absent from some areas of apparently suitable habitat. Estimated population in S Mozambique in excess of 2,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Yellow-fronted Canary (Crithagra mozambica). 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 10 December 2019).