CANARY, common name for a small FINCH (q.v.), Serinus canaria, native to the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary and Cape Verde islands. It is bred as a cage bird throughout the world. In its wild state, the canary builds its nest of moss, feathers, or hair in thick, bushy, high shrubs or trees and produces from two to four broods in a season; its plumage is olive green or greenish yellow, tinged with brown. The birds produced by selective breeding are predominantly yellow. In confinement the canary often breeds three or four times a year, laying from four to six pale blue eggs in each clutch. The canary can be taught various notes or series of notes, which it in turn will teach to its young. Many varieties of canaries have been produced by selective scientific breeding. Particularly noted as a songbird is the Harz Mountain canary, bred in Germany.

Some canaries are bred for beauty and trained to perch in a manner that will best display their attractiveness. These ornamental varieties include the crested Norwich; the Scotch fancy, a slender bird with high-arched shoulders; and the Manchester, a show variety noted for its size.

Canary songs consist of bass and flute notes, as well as "bell" and "bubbling water" sounds. The songs are classified as either "roller" or "chopper." The roller song is soft and is sung with a nearly closed beak. The chopper song is loud, natural, and produced with an open beak; distinct "chop-chop" sounds are heard. Some breeds of canary sing a warblerlike song combining both types.

Copyright © 2002 World Almanac Education Group, Inc. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia and text may not be copied without their express written permission except for the print or download capabilities of the retrieval software used for access. This text is intended solely for the use of the individual user.
Source: Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
Accession Number: CA025200
The canary behaviors, diets and health info posted on this website represent the opinion of the author solely, please seek professional vet. advice regarding pet-care information for your canary.