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Silverbill, African
Bird Info
Bird Info
Conservation status
Scientific Name:
Lonchura cantans
Africa, Asia, Central Africa, East Africa, Global, Horn of Africa, Kenya, Middle East, Nigeria, North Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa Read more
Related Reading
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (Clement 1999). ...
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In early literature, African Silverbill (Lonchura cantans) and Indian Silverbill (L. malabarica) were treated as conspecific. In 1943, Jean Théodore Delacour firmly united both species in his revision of the Estrildinae. However, in 1964, James M. Harrison first studied the two in a strictly comparative manner and concluded that they were two separate species. He discovered that although the call notes were similar, the songs are distinctly different in form, but sharing a common pattern. They are sympatric in the south of the Arabian Peninsula and there is no record of natural hybridization. From Harrison's personal observation of birds in captivity, each of the two forms evinced a preference for its own kind. In 1985, Kakizawa and Watada confirmed Harrison's conclusion. They confirmed the genetic difference of the two species by the means of protein electrophoresis. In 1990, Sibley and Monroe accept the two as distinct species. Molecular sequence divergence studies indicate that this species along with the Indian Siverbill are basal, having diverged from the common ancestors of other Lonchurae about 11 MYA. This and other evidence including differences in the arrangement of down in chicks and behaviour[ 1] leads some authors to placing them in the separate genus Euodice.[ 2] ...
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