Canary

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image: canaries.jpg

Common Name: Domestic & Wild Canary
Scientific Name: Serinus canaria (domesticus)

Size: Domestic: 4 ½ to 8 inches (11.5-20 cm); Wild: 5 to 5 ½ inches (12.5-13.5 cm)

Habitat: Africa; Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 60,000 - 300,000 Mature individuals in the Wild

Diet: Seed, some fruit and insects.

Breeding: In captivity, canaries can breed year-round; with a hen laying four to six eggs a month. Male and female sometimes will act aggressively toward each other and, if in captivity, should be separated.

Cool Facts: While you’d assume the Canary Islands were named for the canaries that were found there, they were actually named for canaria, "of the dogs" in Latin, referring to the numerous wild dogs that were found there by the Romans.

Canaries were first bred in captivity in the 1600s by Monks. They were brought over by Spanish sailors to Europe. At first, the monks only sold male canaries which were prized for their singing abilities. This also kept the birds in short supply and drove the price up. Eventually Italians obtained females and started breeding them, driving down the price. This made them very popular and resulted in many variants arising and the birds being bred all over Europe.

Canary in the Coal Mine? Miners used canaries as early forms of carbon monoxide or methane detection in mines. Three or more canaries were taken down new shafts, and if one or more exhibited abnormal behavior, they determined that the shaft was unsafe. Their high metabolism rate makes them susceptible to toxic fumes. The use of canaries in British mines was phased out in 1986. In the first Mercedes-Benz airbag tests, canaries rode shotgun to check for leaks from the airbag.

Canaries are territorial and not social. Two or more males in a cage will stop all males from singing. They generally do not appreciate company in the same cage. It will be seen as an intruder, not as a companion.

Although, caged canaries seem to appreciate a solitary existence, they do require a frequent change of scenery to be happy, such as trading toys and cage locations. Canaries are susceptible to fumes and drafts and should not be placed in the kitchen or by open windows.

“Tweety Bird” of Warner Bros Cartoon fame is probably the most famous canary.


Found in Songbird ReMix Pet Shop Pet Shop

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