Yellow-rumped canary, Yellow-rumped Seedeater
Crithagra xanthopygia (Serinus xanthopygius)
Geographical distribution and habitat
The Yellow-rumped Seedeater is a Serin species that can only be found in Eritrea and Ethiopia, in East Africa (Horn of Africa). Their habitat is in a very large range, located above the equator, where Crithagra xanthopygia is observed in the higher altitudes. Their habitat is described as an open landscape, overgrown with thorny bushes. From the little information about their diet in nature, the conclusion can be made that this species feeds on grains, seeds, buds, nectar and flowers.
Size: 11-12 cm. (4.3-4.7 inch)
Description and subspecies
Male and female are completely identical in appearance. The youngsters show a little bit of striping like most young Crithagra species have and their plumage is more brown-grey. No subspecies are known. Some books, often of an older date, mention Crithagra reichenowi (Reichenows seedeater) and Crithagra xanthopygia as subspecies of Crithagra atrogularis (Black-throated canary). Subsequent studies, including Birds of the World by James F. Clements, describe them as three separate species, but all with a remarkable yellow rump.
There are observations in which both singing males of Crithagra xanthopygia (Yellow-rumped seedeater) and Crithagra reichenowi (Reichenows seedeater), were observed at the same location. This confirms that they are different types. Crithagra xanthopygia is recognizable by a cream-white throat spot and of course the yellow rump. At first sight from appearance, the Yellow-rumped seedeater can easely be confused with Crithagra leucopygia (Greysinger) which has a white rump. Confusingly, in aviculture Crithagra reichenowi is often referred to as Yellow-rumped Seedeater.