The canary originates from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa and, by the 16th century, were prized as pets throughout Europe. While all adult male canaries sing, some varieties have been specifically bred for their vocal ability - particularly the Roller canary.
They were originally predominantly olive green in colour, but after a few hundred years of selective breeding, the yellow colour has proved the most popular. Colour breeding is a favoured past time for many canary owners which has resulted in colours ranging from cinnamon and white, to red.
The ideal diet for a canary is a seed mix consisting of 70% canary seed and 30% rape. For correct nutrition, canaries also need a high protein intake everyday. In most cases, half a teaspoon a day of hard-boiled chicken eggs, a special "nestling" food or a mixture of both is sufficient. However during the breeding and moulting seasons these birds should be given as much of this as they will eat.
The ideal cages should be made of metal and at least 80cm long, 60cm and 60cm wide - remember, canaries fly back and forth not up and down. Avoid bamboo or wicker cages as they can be difficult to clean and can be quite unsanitary. At night, the cage should be stored in a quiet room that is quiet and should be covered with a heavy cloth.
Canaries enjoy a year-round temperature of 25 degrees with a low humidity and may need a light mist of cool tap water on extremely hot days. Canaries also like to take baths so provide a dish of cool clean water for it to splash around in.
Origin: Canary Islands
Care: Prefers to be the sole bird in the house
Call: Strong singers
Features: Extremely sensitive to household chemicals