serinus canaria male 20141121 1227943196    

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Canary, Island canary

Serinus canaria

Geographical distribution and habitat

The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic ocean, west from Morocco. Serinus canaria is the only member from the genus Serinus on this archipelago. The Canary Islands are scrap from volcanic mountains. The islands are sunny with mostly moderate temperatures, with little change in temps and hardly any rain during the summer months. The wild Canary has no subspecies, just small differences depending on which island they come from. This Serinus species lives in nearly all the areas on these islands, but mostly found in the mountain areas and in woodlands.

Size: 12-13cm (4,7-5,1 inch)
All domestic canaries have the Wild Canary (Serinus canaria) as their ancestor.

Description and subspecies

Adult birds of both sexes are easily distinguishable. The male has a more sharper colour and more defined striping on the head where the beard stripes are well recognizable. Young birds are more greyer and striped on the chest. No subspecies. The size of the wild canary is similar to the European canary (Serinus serinus), but the latter is slightly smaller and more squat and has a shorter, more conical beak.


The Wild canary searches for food at or near the surface. Feeds on seed-bearing plants. It is remarkable that interest in breeding Wild canaries is fairly recent. During breeding time, the nest will be, just like other serinus species, strongly defended. It is recommended to keep the Wild canary in single pairs during breeding season. Breeding goes well in large breeding cages in a dry area. Even for raising chicks the Wild canary stays on vegetable food, unless the birds are used to (frozen) animal food. The Wild canary feeds on, just like his European relative, willingly turnip- and coleseed, and other oil rich seeds, grass-seeds, perilla, The Wild canary needs to be ringed, due to legal requirements, with a ring (2,7mm.), as required by the government, for protected native and foreign birdspecies. Serinus canaria is classified to the “real” Serinus species.



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