Yellow-fronted Canary in Singapore

The Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus), or sometimes called the Green Singing Finch is a small bird in the finch family. It is natively found in Africa south of the Sahara.

In Singapore, it has been reported as an escapee species since at least 2005 if not earlier. It is hard to give a exact date and it is rather unimportant if it is a single bird. However in 2009 there were sightings of a pair at Punggol.

In 2010, I sighted my first three birds in a mix flock of other seedeaters in Punggol as well. I have written about my encounter here previously. Since then, more and more reports of the species has surfaced. They were sighted at Punggol, Lorong Halus, Garden by the Bay, Marina East (ex), Chinese & Japanese Garden,Seletar West/Punggol Barat area, and even Changi Airport.

Yellow-fronted Canary
A pair at Punggol grassland showing front and side view seen in early January 2011.

 

Yellow-fronted Canary
An adult male with brilliant yellow plumage at Lorong Halus in June 2011. This is why it is called the Yellow-fronted Canary.

 

Yellow-fronted Canary
A juvenile with much duller yellow colouration and some light streaks on the side of breast seen with another in July 2014. As far as I am aware the main bulk of import of this species are singing male, so the presence of more than one juvenile suggest that they may be indeed breeding.

 

Yellow-fronted Canary
An adult in October 2013 seen at Lorong Halus eating grass seeds which is their main diet.

 


An adult male singing on a branch at Lorong Halus. The background noises are the clicking of camera shutters as well as a water pump nearby.

 

This species as can be seen in the video is a good singer, hence the alternate name, Green Singing Finch. Most of the birds bought in Singapore are male, as they are the ones singing. Because of this ability, they apparently command a higher selling price. In contrast the other exotic grassland birds are mainly sold for release during religious festivities.

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