The Damara canary is 12-15 cm in length. The adult male has rich brown upperparts and tail, a white hind collar and mainly white underparts. The head pattern is striking; whereas male black-headed canary has a solidly black head and central breast, Damara has a white supercilium, and white throat and fore neck with a black moustachial stripe. The black of the central breast is therefore separate from the black of the head.
The adult female is similar, but has a dull grey head, and is dark-streaked on the head and upperparts. It has a rich brown wing bar. The female is similar to female black-headed canary, but shows faint traces of the male head pattern. The juvenile resembles the female, but is paler, has streaking on the breast, and a weaker wing bar.
Distribution and habitat
It is a resident breeder in South Africa, Namibia and southern Botswana. It is sometimes placed in genus Alario as Alario leucolaema, and some authorities treat it as a subspecies of black-headed canary, Serinus alario. Its habitat is dry open scrub and grassland, edges of cultivation, and suburban gardens.
The Damara canary is a common and gregarious seed-eater, forming flocks of up to 200 birds. Its call is a low tseett, and the male’s song is jumble of unmusical notes.
- Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015.