Depending on how you look at
the word "types"...
There may be three canary types or there may be hundreds.
Certainly, there are HUNDREDS of breeds--or varieties-- of canary but...
Here is how I like to separate the hundreds of canary breeds--in regards to the word "TYPES"...
Domestic canaries can be divided into three basic groups or...
Please stay tuned for the next installment.....
Types of canary
- Type canaries
- Color canaries
- Song canaries
Type canaries are bred for a specific physical trait or shape with little or no regard for the birds song or color.Type canaries can be seen in many strange and wondrous shapes and sizes. From small to large to humpbacks to frilled and crested.
Lizard Canary with
markings and colorations reminiscent of a lizard's scales. Bred in the
early 1700's in France...
The Lizard Canary.
Source of Photograph.....
Developed in France during the early 1700s the...
...Lizard Canary...is the one of the oldest breeds of canary still available today.
This unique canary made it's way to Britain via French Huguenot weavers. These weavers were French Calvinist refugees fleeing religious persecution.
While these canaries were never super-popular in Europe they were in no danger of "going the way of the cuckoo" until......they almost became extinct in the early 1900's!
With the ravages of two world
wars and disease epidemics the Lizard Canary was reduced to only a couple dozen
breeding pairs by the mid 1940's.
Lizard Canary Association of Great Britain
came to this bird's rescue and began a very closely monitored "come-back" breeding
program. Today this canary thrives and is one of most popular Type
Interestingly while most canary breeds were named after their place of origin the Lizard is named for it's...
Black crescent-shaped spots running down the
back and breast of the Lizard give this bird a reptilian scaly
appearance. This visual effect is known as "spangling" on the
back and "rowing" on the breast.
This Lizard-like Canary gradually loses this lizard-like pattern with each annual molt. As a result, this striking canary only has one year to do well at canary shows.
Lizard canaries also sport a "cap"...a single circular pattern of feathers on top of the head. Sometimes this cap is a regular oval shape with clear edges and sometimes it a rather irregular shaped circle.
This is not a cap like the crested canaries have but a simple "cap of color".
Legs and beak should be a shiny black.
These canaries get there name from their place of origin...the border area between Scotland and England.Also known as the Border Fancy, details of this canary's origins are somewhat mysterious...no one knows for sure exactly when this breed of canary began to develop.
We do know that the Border Canary began as a "Common Canary" probably sometime in the late 1700's or early 1800's.It became popular as the "Wee Gem" by the mid-1800's and was officially named "Border Fancy Canary" on July 5, 1890.
Border canaries are seen in the following colors...
This Type Canary may also be "ticked" or "variegated".
Source of Photograph.....
The crested Gloster canary looks eerily like John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
You know, the ones with the Beatles haircut...Gloster Canaries.
Gloster Canaries are often confused with Crested Canaries.
Although the Gloster does have a "crest"...there is a separate breed of canary--also with a crest--called the Crested Canary.The Gloster were bred to be small--short and stubby--no longer than 4 3/4 inches. For years the Gloster canaries were being shown along side other Crested Canaries but finally in 1925 were recognized as a separate breed of canary.
Like most canaries the Gloster was named after the area in which he was developed. Mrs. Rogerson of Gloucestershire---just say "Gloster"...close enough --- crossed Borders, Rollers, and Crested and ended up with the...
Any Gloster with the crest is referred to as a Corona and those without crests (plainheads) are Consorts...ATTENTION BREEDERS!...
Due to some kind of "genetic glitch" a Corona should never be bred to another Corona...low chick survival is the outcome. Corona and Consort are generally bred together but Consort to Consort is another alternative.
Gloster canaries are seen in many color variations including...
The Crested Canary.
Source of Photograph.....
The Crested Canary came before the Gloster and is larger and more rare.
The first crested canary--a canary with a crest--is thought to have arisen around 1800.
It seems several breeds of canaries--including the...
- --Mechelse Waterslager
Using these canaries with crests, breeders in England sought to develop and enlarge the crest and eventually ended up with the crested Lancashire and crested Norwich canaries.As breeders continued to enjoy the development of this crested bird by crossing the Norwich and Lancashire together...they soon developed canaries that differed in many respects from the Norwich and Lancashire.
In time these "crested canaries" came to be
known as their
own breed--about 1880--called...yes...
The Crested Canary.A large heavy set bird this canary was soon used to create the Gloster...a much smaller canary with a crest.
The Gloster canary became very popular while the Crested Canary breed fell away to a small amount of breeders that remained interested.The Crested is still around today and bred by a handful of dedicated niche breeders. It is difficult to find a true Crested but...
You can easily find other breeds of canaries with crests including the...
Thanks to parrotparrot.com and
crestedcanary.com for the photos.
A canary with a crest is called a "Corona" and a canary--within the same variety of canary--without a crest is called a "Consort".
Unhappy with the g-r-o-w-I-N-G size of the Border Canary these Scotts went the other direction and bred a small--or miniature--Border canary...
The Fife is small--under 4 1/2 inches long--and
agile with a rounded back and breast giving it a rotund appearance...very
The youngest of the Type canaries-->the Fife was officially accepted in 1957.Also known as the Fife Fancy Canary this little bird is seen in many color variations including...
The Norwich canaries were smaller back then...a little over 5 inches long and skinny-ish---Is "skinny-ish" a word?The large Lancashire Coppy Canary was bred to the Norwich in the late 1800's increasing the size of the Norwich.
Also, about this time color-feeding was introduced further changing the appearance of the Norwich Canary.In 1890 a group of 400 breeders and enthusiasts got together in Norwich and decided on a new standard of type and quality regarding the Norwich.
While color at one time was considered an important attribute, it has NOW been forgotten and ignored and the canary's Type has taken the lead in importance.The Norwich is one of my favorites...the way the head feathers BULK UP around the eyes gives these canaries a very unique look.
And with his...
--large chest and shoulders
--and erect stance
...the Yorkshire has become known as the "Guardsman".
Also known as the "Gentleman of the Fancy", these canaries were developed in the mid-1800's and first shown in 1870.
While the canary was developed in Bradford, England it was first shown in Yorkshire...hence the name...and intentions of breeders were to improve upon the appearance of the Lancashire canaries.
Development of the Yorkshire
Development of the Yorkshire included crossbreeding among the...
- --Belgian Bult
Finally...in 1935 desired standards of posture and size and shape for the Yorkshire were reached.
In the old days of the breed the Yorkshire was said to be so slender it could pass through a wedding ring.
A fish story?
An out-and-out lie?
All of the above?
-->The statement is unlikely...but it does give us an idea of how important it was to have...
Tall Slender Yorkshire Canaries.
What time is it? Five past seven...
The Yorkshire Canary stance should be at an angle that looks like a clocks two hands at 5 past seven. See the canary pictures below.
Yorkshire breeding takes a little more effort than other canaries...
The diet is more demanding and the size of the canaries necessitates larger nests and cages.
Type Canaries... Type canaries have been bred over the centuries for "appearance only"...however strange.
Some of the ways canaries have had their natural "Physical Appearance" changed include...
--feather arrangement and texture
All this experimentation created some very...oh, let's just say...
"INTERESTING" looking birds...to say the least.
This type of selective breeding doesn't mean that these canaries don't sing. Most sing there little heart out! Of course...
To the novice like me and you-->The lack of a championship
singing voice is barely noticed.
Dutch, French, and Belgian breeders in the 1800's couldn't help themselves and exploited every variation of posture, size, and frilled feathers they could.
- Border or Border Fancy
- The speckled Lizard canary
- The many varieties of Crested canaries.
- The smaller crested Gloster
- The large and strong Norwich
- The large and sometimes crested Lancashire
- Columbus Fancy
- Scotch Fancy
- Italian Gibber Italicus
Don't confuse "Type canaries" with "Canary Types"...they're 2 different things.
Canary types are the three groupings of canaries defined by the purpose of their breeding. As mentioned, the three canary types are Type, Color, and Song.
Next are the...