Friday, August 5, 2011

Where do canaries come from?

In a recent blog, “The dogs of The of Canary Island, I informed you (If you needed informing) that the Canary Islands were not named after canaries at all, but in fact the English name came from the Latin for Dogs. Thus The Canary Islands got their name from dogs and not from the Canary bird as most people erroneously believe!
Which is all very fine and interesting, but where in fact did Canaries call home, before they took wing to all parts of the world?
Well! Rather coincidentally, they do in fact come from the same part of the world, including, but not exclusively to The Canary Islands themselves. In truth the Canary is native to three major island Chains in the Atlantic Ocean off the North African Coast.
Thus according to Wikipedia, “The Canary (Serinus canaria), also called the Island Canary, Atlantic Canary or Common Canary, is a small passerine bird belonging to the genus Serinus in the finch family, Fringillidae. It is native to the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira. Wild birds are mostly yellow-green, with brownish streaking on the back. The species is common in captivity and a number of colour varieties have been bred.”
Wikipedia also adds that, “This bird is the natural symbol of the Canary Islands, together with the Canary Island Date Palm.”
So although the Islands are not named after the Birds, but after dogs instead, and although dogs and not birds are on the Country’s Heraldic Shield, Canaries are still, widely acknowledged on The Canary Islands. So now you know where canaries originally came from.
Talking about canaries, are they still popular these days? They were very popular in the middle part of the last century and it seemed everyone had or wanted a “Whistler”. (The Male.)
My Mum, and two of her sisters, used to breed and sell Canaries from their Homes (And swap breeding birds between them). My wife and I also had a canary when first married, but soon moved over to Budgerigars, as they were (Much) easier to breed and rear! What about you? Did you ever have, or breed, any birds?

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