The canary comes in three different varieties: the German, or short-bodied bird; the French, or long-bodied bird; and the Belgian, which is the largest and friendliest of the species.
Then there’s the Norwich crest, the Lancashire crest, and other varieties like the London fancy, spangled, lizard canary, spanish timbrado, brimstone canary, The Stafford Canary, lemon breasted canary, The lizard canary and others that are derived by painstaking breeding.
The historical origins of these household pets are very universally known, and it is not essential to mention it here; yet, an article about canaries is never complete without it, so the responsibility is obvious.
A vessel is said to have left the Canary Islands three hundred years ago, carrying a few dozens of local birds. When a strong wind hit her off the coast of France, her demise looked certain.
The kind captain remembered the defenceless children and ordered their release. He’s a blessing! That noble deed should canonize him a saint in the eyes of all eras, past, present, and future. Four-fifths of the world’s civilised houses use this product. Despite this, no memorial to his memory has been constructed, at least that we are aware of.
The birds fled to shore after being freed from the sinking ship and established a colony in a “merry greenwood.” Their delectable music soon drew the attention of the public, and every family desired one.
None were left to enliven that wood in a short time; they were all taken into captivity again, with the hunters profiting handsomely from their sale. Germany, France, and Belgium began to raise them in unique ways.
Germany developed the song, France the shape, and Belgium the size, and each nation was admirably successful in its endeavour.
The canary’s natural hue is reported to be greenish-Gray or copper.
The German unmixed breed is five to six inches long; the French unmixed, ideal breed is six to seven and a half inches long, with extremely high shoulders and straight legs; and the Belgian is seven to eight and a half inches long, with humped shoulders, rough chest, and long, straight legs.
The most perplexing aspect about buying a bird is its health. Color and music are immediately apparent when one is seen and the other is heard, but an untrained sight cannot accurately assess health.
Look at the feet: if they’re absolutely smooth, the bird isn’t more than a year old. The presence of little ridgy rings at the joints indicates that the age is more than one year.
If the dealer recommends someone much younger, do not invest since the blood contains scrofula, which can cause vertigo or epileptic seizures.
Place the bird in the sun and examine the nails and mandible: if the nails and mandible have a chalky appearance, the blood is depleted (due to a poor diet) or the bird is unwell.
Even a snow-white bird’s bill, as well as its claws, must have a pink glow, and the little line of blood flowing down the nail and around the bill, must be vivid and clear in color.
Blood thickness and sluggishness are indicated by a purple color, indicating a proclivity for apoplexy. If the color is dull and blue, the bird is possibly ill and consumptive.
If the color is exceedingly pale pink, it indicates a lack of blood, a delicate constitution, and a limited lifespan. As a result, make sure that the beak and claws are pink, and that the bloodlines in them are vibrant, alive, and as brilliant as blood-red can be.
When a bird is removed from the vicinity of the elderly singers, it should be eight months old. At that age, he will have accumulated all of his instructors’ notes.
A younger singer runs the danger of becoming a mediocre singer, as the canary’s natural song is not particularly pleasant and has few changes; nonetheless, he is an excellent mimic and must be trained by an older bird.
To train the young ones, fanciers and breeders should choose the most beautiful of the singers. In the house of a friend, one occasionally hears a lovely singer. “Where can I obtain a songster like yours?” someone inquires.
There is just one method, my friend: buy a four- to six-month-old bird, pay this buddy to house him, and keep him in the same room as this great songster until the tiny learner is trained.
If he is six months old, he will graduate ” in four weeks; if he is younger, he will not receive a ” diploma ” as quickly, but he will graduate in time.
Without an instructor, a pair of young singers will learn more notes than one alone, since they will sing to outdo one other, straining their small minds and twisting their little tongues to produce a new sound that the other hasn’t heard before, and amaze him.
With no such motivation, the isolated adolescent develops a hardly bearable voice. Race deterioration is indicated by thin feathers.
Rough feathers (not produced by moulting) also indicate race deterioration, as can illness. If you have a skin disease, you might be able to get rid of it. The healthy tone of the claws and mandible demonstrates this.
However, if these are pale, the bird is suffering from a more serious ailment. Select a smooth, thick-feathered bird in good health; then there’s no risk, and buying before or after moulting is the best option.
Dark-coloured birds are far more resilient than light-coloured birds. The dark singers, when properly cared for, ignore the moulting season and sing as freely and eloquently as they do at other times of the year.
A light singer may be allowed to sing all year, but for a few weeks he will lose part of his notes. The seed-and-water diet gives the bird so little strength that it mopes for two to three months, songless and rough-coated.
Fans inform purchasers that moulting takes just six weeks; nevertheless, everyone who owns a bird knows that the shortest period for light birds is 10 weeks, and the longest period for the more resilient dark bird is eight weeks. In the chapter on illnesses, we’ll go over the entire season.
Make the vendor guarantee that the bird you’re buying isn’t a dud.
Fanciers would occasionally promote a stock of very slender birds, expounding on the elegant beauty of such a bird as contrasted to the bulky German breed, in the hope of creating a lucrative sensation.
Only an untrained eye notices or purchases one of these gems. Notice how big the bill appears in comparison to the slim body; it stands out from the rest of the head, as if it were an artificial bill bunglingly placed on top of being bunglingly created.
This characteristic, irrespective of the color, indicates that the body has been starved to its thin proportions. Take hold of the sad tiny thing. What a fragile creature! what a sorry state each and every little bone is in
For attempting to put his “great concept” on those innocent victims, the fancier deserves 10 years in prison; none of them had the constitution to survive half the normal life of a bird. No fancier has the right to experiment on a bird’s health and do it harm. Why aren’t humane societies taking notice of this?