Brimstone Canary
Brimstone Canary
Brimstone Canary

Brimstone Canary

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The Brimstone Canary or Bully CanarySerinus sulphuratus, is a small passerine bird in the finch family. It is a resident breeder in central and southern Africa.

This species is found in open, lightly wooded habitats, such as hillsides with trees or scrub and forest edges. In South Africa it occurs mainly in coastal areas, inhabiting coastal bush, shrubs along streams, gardens, and areas with rank vegetation


Male is larger than Yellow Fronted Canary with a heavier pinkish-horn bill, less distinct face pattern with an olive-green malar stripe. Rump and mantle are both green with dark streaking. Female and immature are duller.  The Brimstone Canary can be confused with the Yellow-fronted Canary, but that species is smaller billed with a much more defined head pattern and a bright yellow rump.

The call notes of the Brimstone Canary in the south of its range are a trilled, deeply pitched swirriwirrit or chirrup. The song is a jumble of chirps, whistles, warbles and trills, with the same deep pitch as the call. Northern birds have a faster, higher, less jumbled and more tuneful version of the song.

The Brimstone Canary breeds from August to October. The nest is an open cup built from thin stems and other plant material and lined with plant down. It is placed in a leafy bush or a tree.

The Brimstone Canary is less gregarious than other canaries. It tends to be found singly or in pairs, or occasionally in small groups, and is a common visitor to gardens. It feeds on fruit, seeds, flowers and shoots. Hard seed cases are cracked with the stout bill.