Black-headed Canary

Serinus alario (endemic)

Much smaller than a Cape Sparrow and far more brightly coloured, this small canary is a locally common nomad in Karoo scrub. Although some authorities treat it as conspecific with the Damara canary, it is visibly different; lacking the white facial markings of this similar looking canary.

I first recorded this striking endemic in June 2012, while birding around Beaufort West with Jaapie Claassen and his wife. I am still waiting for a decent photo opportunity.


Black-headed Canary (female) / Swartberg Pass near Prince Albert, Western Cape, South Africa / 01 January 2017 Black-headed Canary (female) / Swartberg Pass near Prince Albert, Western Cape, South Africa / 01 January 2017 Black-headed Canary / Swartberg Pass near Prince Albert, Western Cape, South Africa / 01 January 2017 Black-headed Canary / Swartberg Pass near Prince Albert, Western Cape, South Africa / 01 January 2017 Black-headed Canary (female) / Swartberg Pass near Prince Albert, Western Cape, South Africa / 01 January 2017 Blackhead Canary (male) / Beeufort West, South Africa / 29 June 2012 Black-headed Canary (male) / Beeufort West, South Africa / 29 June 2012
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