Sighting of the exotic Cut-throat Finch

on 23rd May 2011

Francis Yap alerted us to a photograph an unfamiliar bird taken along Singapore’s Punggol grassland on 24th March 2011 that he suspected to be another exotic finch/munia species. Taken by a Flickr member called Blueangle1, the original photo was posted HERE

Haniman Boniran sent the following account: “My 1st instinct was its a Cut-throat Finch (Amadina fasciata). However, it lacks the red marking on the throat (if its a male). But even if it’s a female, I have yet to see a specimen so boldly covered with barrings on the wings. This is one of the most commonly traded finches from Africa. They originate from Senegal and Gambia east to Somalia and south to eastern South Africa. The female Cut-throat Finch doesn’t have the red patch on the throat that extends all the way to the cheek area just behind the eye. Juvenile cut-throats are very much like females. But I’m guessing, this a female Cut-throat Finch of a different subspecies A. f. meridionalis. They tend to have a darker barring compared to the nominate race, A. fasciata. Considering that quite a number of them are imported from South Africa, where A. f. meridionalis occurs, this could be a specimen of a female of that subspecies. I’m still uncertain of its exact race or even species. For all we know, it could be a hybrid of cut-throat and something else, maybe. Let’s put to on the table and see what others have to say.”

“If it’s Cut-throat Finch, then this certainly isn’t the first sighting, as I’m aware that there was a few at Changi Cove photographed last year,” responded Francis.

Francis Yap, Haniman Boniran & Blueangle1
May 2011

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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