ANIMAL: Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola Type of Animal: Songbird Habitat: Lowlands, grassland, dry open agricultural land, towns, semiopen/open lowland river valleys, brush/brushy areas, gardens, parks, semiopen/open dry forest, semiopen savanna w/ scattered trees/shrubs, semi-open thornscrub, semi-open chaco woodland, semiopen edges of marshes/waterbodies w/ scattered trees/shrubs, light woodland Location(s): Native to S America except for Amazon Basin/surrounding area, parts of Guiana Shield, E Peru, most of Chile (only found in C Chile), & much of S Argentina. Also found in Trinidad & Tobago. Introduced to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, S Florida, Panama, Cuba, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, & Cayman Islands. Appearance: Male bright yellow w/ saturated orange forehead, S populations duller/browner above, females duller than males w/ faded male characteristics & more streaking, juveniles similar to females Food/Diet: Seeds, grains, greens, insects, insect larvae/eggs Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos & aviculture Lifestyle: Flocks of 2-20 birds. Males become territorial in breeding season. Additional Info: Called: Male: Cock Female: Hen Young: Chick Group: Flock Weight: Male: 0.77 oz Female: 0.7 oz Gestation: 2 weeks Life Span: 10-12 years Height: Male: 6 in Female: 5.5 in Body Length: Male: 6 in Female: 5.5 in Tail Length: 0.5 in, same for both sexes Main predators are predatory birds, snakes, crocodilians, predatory lizards, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals. Courtship starts w/ male chasing female around until she gives up escaping his advances. When she settles down, he’ll sit beside her & start dancing/wing flapping while singing. Females lay 3-7 eggs & often rear up to 3 broods a season, meaning 9-21 chicks may be reared. Chicks stay w/ parents for only a month. Male chicks may leave a few days before females. They 1st molt at a year old. They reach sexual maturity at around 10 months. Though sexually mature at 10-12 months, don’t often attain adult plumage until 2 years. Often forage on ground. Active during the day (diurnal). Tend to do well near human areas, being very common. Usually nest in cavities. Fun Fact(s): Males sometimes used for finch-fights (similar to cock-fights), in which beaks sharpened sometimes w/ sharp metal objects attached. Often enticed to fight due to females being nearby. Canary-fighting (these birds also called Brazilian or Native Canaries) was common in Brazil until outlawed in 1990. Males often kept for pleasant, repetitious song of slurred whistles & chirps. Has hybridized w/ other Sicalis species as well as Chestnut-Capped Blackbirds & different Canary species of genus Serinus. While sometimes called Brazilian Canaries, they’re not closely related to canaries or finches & are in fact tanagers.