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Canary ~ Bird Song
The Yellow Canary (Serinus flaviventris) is a small passerine bird in the finch family. It is a resident breeder in much of the western and central regions of southern Africa and has been introduced to Ascension and St Helena islands.
Its habitat is karoo and coastal or mountain valley scrub. It builds a compact cup nest in a scrub.
The Yellow Canary is typically 13 cm in length. The adult male colour ranges from almost uniform yellow in the northwest of its range to streaked, olive backed birds in the southeast. The underparts, rump and tail sides are yellow. The female has grey-brown upperparts, black wings with yellow flight feathers, and a pale supercilium. The underparts are white with brown streaking. The juvenile resembles the female, but has heavier streaking.
This species is easily distinguished from the Yellow-fronted Canary by its lack of black face markings, and its bill is less heavy than that of other similar African Serinus species..
The Yellow Canary is a common and gregarious seedeater. Its call is chissick or cheree, and the song is a warbled zee-zeree-chereeo.
The Domestic Canary, often simply known as the canary, (Serinus canaria domestica) is a domesticated form of the wild Canary, a small songbird in the finch family originating from the Macaronesian Islands (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands).
Canaries were first bred in captivity in the 17th century. They were brought over by Spanish sailors to Europe. This bird became expensive and fashionable to breeding in courts of Spanish and English kings. Monks started breeding them and only sold the males (which sing). This kept the birds in short supply and drove the price up. Eventually Italians obtained hens and were able to breed the birds themselves. This made them very popular and resulted in many breeds arising and the birds being bred all over Europe.
The same occurred in England. First the birds were only owned by the rich but eventually the local citizens started to breed them and, again, they became very popular. Many breeds arose through selective breeding, and they are still very popular today for their voice..