Despite the fact that all canaries belong to the same species, the Serinus, there are multiple varieties. In principle, we can distinguish three major breeds: canaries of colour, canaries of song, and canaries of form and position, within which there are as many subgenera. All of them have evolved from an autochthonous breed of the Canary Islands, from which they are named, and are one of the most popular pets for young and old thanks to their colourful plumage and the joy of their song.

The Canary of Colour

According to experts, the procreation among countless selective mating of the wild canary has given rise to the characteristic yellow colour of the canary that we all know. However, evolution gave way to the Agate Canary, green and cinnamon, and with it, the breeding of birds of different colours as a hobby. From there, varieties in white, blue or red emerged, all of them derived from the crosses between pairs selected by canary breeders.

From the point of view of genetics, the colour of the canary is derived from two basic pigments: lipochromes and melanins. The lipochromes give the base colour, which in the case of canaries is yellow with traces of white and red as recessive. Melanin provides the black and dark brown pigment and, by superimposing both pigments, they give rise to colours such as blue, green, bronze, tan or brown.

In order to influence the plumage of canaries, some breeders feed them with certain foods that flavor a specific type of pigmentation before the bird begins to molt, around the sixth or eighth week of life.

Cayenne, for example, was used to promote red in canaries that had red as a recessive colour. However, you cannot turn a yellow canary red by feeding it peppers every day. The bird must have traces of the colour red in its genes and, with food, what is achieved is to enhance and flavor this genetic element. Obviously, the development of chemical substances has influenced the appearance of new colours, although preparations that influence their pigmentation should never be administered to our pet, as they can weaken their health.

The Singing Canary

All canaries sing but, like people; some do it better than others. The males are true troubadours, since with their songs they try to impress the females, so if what you want is a singing canary, choose a male.

This type of bird can be considered a born artist, as they mimic the songs they hear from other birds, stimulate their hearing by listening to music, and even introduce homegrown parts into their repertoire.

The Roller sings with its beak practically closed, emitting a soft, deep tone from the inside of its throat. The Belgian Waterslager is the second in the ranking of the canaries that sing the best, with a tone that resembles the sound of a stream.

In addition to these two, the American Singer, who appeared in the United States in the 1930s, is perhaps the prettiest of singing canaries. It is a cross between Roller and Border Canary, famous for its beautiful plumage. The Spanish Timbrado, however, is the one with the most powerful song, and with an attractive metallic cadence.

The Canary of Forma

The varieties of canaries cover all kinds of sizes and shapes. They are tall and thin or tiny and plump. There are some that have a crest, like in Canario Gloster, which has a very comical look.

The most common breeds are Border, Fife, York, Norwich, and the Gloster. The first two, Border and Fife, are small, while York and Norwich are characterized by being large.

But it is very difficult to cover the endless options when choosing the most beautiful canary. Of course, they all have their charm, and in your hand will be the one that comes closest to your ideal of animal beauty.


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