Bird Families

South African Canary Finch / Crithagra symonsi

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Gray canary finch (Crithagra leucopygius)

Message Gularis »11 Mar 2017, 18:15

Gray canary finch (Crithagra (Serinus) leucopygius) - this very small and nondescript bird, size 10-10.5 cm, weight 8-16 g. It is widely famous for its sonorous, melodic and intricately varying singing.
Male and female are almost indistinguishable in appearance. Their heads are light gray with small brown streaks. The feathers of the back, wings and tail are brown with light brownish edges. The loin is white. The underside of the body is whitish, with a gray tint on the chest and brownish streaks on the chest and sides; in the female, these streaks are sharper outlined. Beak and legs are light meat color.

Their area of ​​distribution stretches across the entire African continent from Senegal in the west to northern Ethiopia in the east:

  • S. l. riggenbachi - southern Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia, eastern and southern Niger, northern Nigeria, center and southern Chad, northern central African Republic and western Sudan,
  • S. l. pallens - northern Niger,
  • S. l. leucopygius - central and southern Sudan northern and central Eritrea, western and central Ethiopia, northeastern DR Congo and northwestern Uganda.

These birds often come to pet stores in rather poor condition. For the amendment, they need to be given small live insects and small soft seeds. Keep warm. Birds that have safely overcome the critical period of adaptation to new conditions for them live in captivity for quite a long time: up to five, and often up to ten years. They get used to humans well and often nest not only in the aviary, but also in the cage. These finches get along poorly with other birds. During the breeding season, even those birds that are much larger in size are boldly driven away from the nest. They are especially aggressive at this time in relation to their relatives - to all other species of canary finches, with which they fight even through the cage lattice. In order for a pair of gray canary finches to create favorable conditions for breeding, it must be planted in a separate cage and somehow shaded from its neighbors.

As a nesting place, the female willingly takes a canary rope cup. From thin blades of grass, roots, wool and feathers, she makes a deep, neat nest in it. Only the female builds the nest and incubates eggs, and the male feeds her at this time. The eggs of the gray canary finch are greenish or bluish-greenish, with dark specks at the blunt end. There are 4-6 eggs in a clutch. Chicks hatch after 13 days, and leave the nest on the 16-18th day of life. 10-14 days after departure, they must be removed from their parents.

Gray canary finches are fed with soaked and slightly germinated millet and canary seed, seeds of lettuce, birch, poppy, rape, dandelion and other weeds, greens and animal food - pupae of small ants, aphids, bloodworms, chopped larvae of flour beetle. All summer long, bouquets of a wide variety of herbs with semi-ripe seeds should be placed in a cage.

© Lukina E.V., Exotic birds in our house, 1986.

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