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Crithagra albogularis (White-throated canary)

 [= Serinus albogularis

Witkeelkanarie [Afrikaans]; Witkeelkanarie [Dutch]; Serin à gorge blanche [French]; Weißkehlgirlitz [German]; Canário-de-garganta-branca [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Fringillidae

Crithagra albogularis (White-throated canary) Crithagra albogularis (White-throated canary)

White-throated canary, De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa. [photo Duncan Robertson ©]

White-throated canary, Tanqua Karoo, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from south-western Angola through Namibia to South Africa, in the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape as well as in the Free State and Swaziland. It generally prefers semi-arid and arid shrubland, sparse woodland along drainage lines, rocky hillside with scattered tall shrubs, coastal strandveld and gardens in Karoo villages.

Distribution of White-throated canary in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Predators and parasites

It has been recorded as prey of the Falco peregrinus (Peregrine falcon).


It mainly eats seeds supplemented with fruit and insects, foraging both on the ground and in the foliage of bushes and trees. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Fruit
    • seeds
      • Psilocaulon junceum (Asbos)
      • Malephora lutea (Vingerkanna)
      • Acacia
      • Atriplex lindleyi (Blasiebrak)
      • Boerhavia repens (Veldpatat)
      • Chenopodium (misbredies)
      • Emex (Polygonaceae)
      • Protea
      • Eriocephalus (Karoo rosemaries)
      • Erodium (Geraniaceae)
      • Lepidium (pepperweed)
      • Microloma (Asclepiadaceae)
      • Polycarena (Scrophulariaceae)
      • Asteraceae
        • Euryops
        • Relhania
        • Kleinia
        • Othonna
      • Raphanus (wild radishes)
      • Salsola (Tumbleweeds)
      • Sonchus (sow thistles)
      • Stoebe (zig-zag bushes)
      • Zaluzianskia (Marsiliaceae)
      • Zygophyllum (bean-capers)
    • fruit
      • Carissa bispinosa (Common num-num)
      • Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bushtick-berry)
      • Grewia
      • Lycium (honey-thorns)
      • Maytenus (silky-barks)
      • Olea (olives)
      • Atriplex semibaccata (Creeping saltbrush)
  • Insects


  • Monogamous, usually solitary nester, although it may form loose colonies with a few nest spaced 30-40m apart.
  • The nest is built solely by the female, consisting of a loosely built cup of twigs, dry grass and forb stems, lined with the fluffy seeds of Karoo rosemaries (Eriocephalus), milkweeds (Asclepias) and pappuses of daisy flowers, sometimes with wool and feathers as well. It is typically placed in an upright or horizontal fork of a tall shrub or small tree, especially the following species:
    • shrubs
      • Rhigozum obovatum (Granaatbos)
      • Salsola aphylla (Gannabos)
      • Euphorbia mauritanica (Melkbos)
    • small trees
      • Acacia karroo (Sweet thorn)
      • Rhus lancea (Karee)
      • Rhus undulata (Kuni-bush)
  • Egg-laying season is mainly from August-October in South Africa, although in semi-arid areas it is probably year-round, corresponding to rainfall.
  • It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 14-18 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents on a diet of regurgitated insects and seeds, leaving the nest after about 16 days.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.