Systematic classification and general information
Species: L. olivaceus Fraser, 1842
Estrildide of the African continent. Its distribution is in the territory of the central belt of Africa, an area that includes the following countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Togo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zaire, southern Sudan and some regions of Lake Tanganyika. Its habitat includes equatorial and subtropical areas, but also mountains, plateaus and areas of dense forests alternating with pastures, clearings, forest edges.
Four subspecies are recognized:
the "Linurgus olivaceus olìvaceus”: Located in Togo, Nigeria, Fernando po Island, Cameroon;
the "Linurgus olivaceus prigogine”: It is located in Zaire, Ki-vu mountain, Lake Tanganika region;
the "Linurgus olivaceus elgonensis": It is located in Sudan, Mount Elgon, Kenya's highlands;
the "Linurgus olivaceus kilimensis”: It is located in Tanzania, on Mount Kilimanjaro, Malawi.
The four species are practically identical as regards morphology, but can only be distinguished by the color of the plumage, especially in the area of the back.
Olive Linurgy - Linurgus olivaceus (photo www.pbase.com)
Olive Linurgy - Linurgus olivaceus
Little bird about 15 cm long. His song is unmistakable, with alternating chirps. In appearance it is very similar to the "Siskin black head", therefore it is sometimes exchanged with it also by some breeders. The color is practically identical to the latter. The head, cheeks, chin and throat are black. Its neck and back are olive-yellow tending. The rump is green tending to yellow. The remiges are black, but with the ends marked in white, while the secondary and small coverts are yellow with light green shades. The chest, belly, undertail and tail are bright yellow. The conical beak is orange in color. His eyes are brown. The legs are orange in color. In this species the dimorphism is quite evident, as in the female the plumage is entirely olive green, with yellow belly and lighter beak. The young ones are very similar to the female, but have brown shades.
Quite difficult to breed. It is absolutely not a type of bird suitable for novice breeders. Sometimes to have it reproduced in captivity, there is the need to use nurses to hatch the laid eggs and to feed the young born. There are few documented cases in Italy of success in caged breeding.
In its natural state, it lives in pairs or in small flocks. His diet is based on seeds, berries and insects which he searches on the ground and in the bushes, where he spends most of his time. The Linurgus is a very peaceful bird, rather sedentary and peaceful, and for this very reason it has always been used as a bird from cages and aviary since ancient times. It builds a cup-shaped nest, made up of moss, twigs and even roots. Usually the nest is always built in a thick bush or on the low branches of a tree with a lot of foliage.
In Europe it is almost impossible to admire it, as it is part of the rare birds and the breeders who try their hand in the selection can be counted on the fingers of one hand. It is present in a few farms in northern Europe, especially in the Netherlands.
At national and international ornithological exhibitions it is almost never present.
Card created by Federico Vinattieri http://ornitologia.difossombrone.it