The adult male colour ranges from almost uniform yellow in the northwest of its range to streaked, olive backed birds in the southeast. The underparts, rump and tail sides are yellow. The female has grey-brown upperparts, black wings with yellow flight feathers, and a pale supercilium. The underparts are white with brown streaking. The juvenile resembles the female, but has heavier streaking. The yellow canary is typically 13 cm in length. This species is easily distinguished from the yellow-fronted canary by its lack of black facial markings, and its bill is less heavy than that of other similar African Serinus species.
Habitat and Distribution
Its habitat is karoo and coastal or mountain valley scrub. It is a resident breeder in much of the western and central regions of southern Africa and has been introduced to Ascension and St Helena islands.
The yellow canary is a common and gregarious seedeater.
It builds a compact cup nest in a scrub.
Calls and Songs
Its call is chissick or cheree, and the song is a warbled zee-zeree-chereeo.