Saffron Finch – Male at Zoo Miami by Dan (Cropped by Lee)
“…covered with silver, and her (his) feathers with yellow gold.” (Psalms 68:13b KJV) (modified)
Dan and I took a ride down to Miami last week. A 200 mile ride. We stayed two nights before heading back home via Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida. We really have not been birdwatching too much lately, so this makes up for a very hot summer and health reasons. Monday and Tuesday we spent at Zoo Miami. On Monday, because we didn’t get there until 2 PM, we visited their Cloud Forrest and Amazon and Beyond Area. We spent all day Tuesday in the fantastic Wings of Asia Aviary. So, let the tales begin:
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) by Lee
I want to introduce you to the Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola). They are actually Tanagers from the Amazon Basin of South America. The Saffron Finch likes the open and semi-open lowlands and are widely distributed in “Columbia, northern Venezuela (where it is called “canario de tejado” or “roof canary”), western Ecuador, western Peru, eastern and southern Brazil (where it is called “canário da terra” or “native canary”), Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago. It has also been introduced to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.”
Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan
“Although commonly regarded as a canary, it is not related to the Atlantic canary. 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 most other yellow finches (the exception being the orange-fronted yellow finch). The females are more confusing and are usually just a slightly duller version of the male, but in the southern subspecies S. f. pelzelni they are olive-brown with heavy dark streaks.”
Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan
“Typically nesting in cavities, the saffron finch makes 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.” (quotes are from Wikipedia’s Saffron Finch)
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) Female ©WikiC
I didn’t see the female, if they had one, but thought you might like to see the difference between the male and the female.
Interesting Facts from WhatBird.com
- Members of Thraupidae Family
- They are about 6 inches in length.
- The Saffron Finch is also known as the Yellow Finch and Pelzeln’s Finch.
- It was first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1766.
- A group of finches has many collective nouns, including a “charm”, “company”, and “trembling” of finches.
Here is some video that I shot of this beauty. I tried to catch him in the trees and that is a challenge, as any birdwatcher knows. But then, to my surprise, he just decided that he needed a bath. Wow!
We have lots of photos from the trip, so stay tuned!
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7)
Zoo Miami and the Wings of Asia FL
Thraupidae Family – Tanagers and Allies