Saffron Finch

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The Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) is a tanager from South America and is common in both open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. They have a wide distribution in Colombia, Venezuela (where it is called "canario de tejado" or "roof canary"), Ecuador, Peru, Brazil (where it is called "canário da terra" or "earth canary") and Argentina. Formerly, it was placed in the Emberizidae but it is close to the seedeaters.

The male is bright yellow with an orange crown which distinguishes it from other yellow finches in the continent. The females are more confusing as they can sometimes be just a duller version of the male but some sub-species such as, S. f. pelzelni, are olive-brown with heavy dark streaks.

They nest in cavities and make use of sites such as abandoned Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) nests, bamboo branches and under house roofs - this species is tolerant of human proximity, appearing at suburban areas and frequenting bird tables. They have a pleasant but repetitious song which, combined with their appearance, has led to them being kept as caged birds in many areas. Males are polygamous, mating with two females during the nesting season, and territorial, which has led to the species being used for blood sporting with two males put in a cage in order to fightCf. José Felipe Monteiro Pereira, Aves e Pássaros comuns do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Technical Books, 2008, ISBN...
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