Saffron finch

Saffron finch

Sicalis flaveola

Common name:

Saffron finch

Scientific name:

Sicalis flaveola

Alternative common names:


Saffron finches are garden birds throughout their native range, and they are also a common pet bird. They’re difficult for the untrained eye but females usually have darker and more pronounced black streaking on the back, and are slightly smaller than males.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

South America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 2

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Not known

How does it spread?

Spread via pet trade

Why is it a problem?

Outcompetes indigenous bird species. They are quite aggressive towards other birds and with their own kind if they’re in groups.

What does it look like?

Description: Black maxilla (upper beak), pale mandible (lower beak), greenish yellow back, yellow under parts, wing and tail feathers are black lined with yellow, dark pink legs. The cock often has an orange forehead while the hen often has more dark streaks.

Habitat: Open and semi-open lowland areas (grasslands and brushy areas).

Breeding: When breeding, they may build their own nests in tree hollows or may make use of abandoned nests. They breed in summer and spring.

Leave a Reply