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History of Canaries

Types of Canaries


All the different types of canary that we know today are descended from the wild canary (Serinus canarius). The first reference to this bird is in Gesner's Historia Animalium (1555) where he refers to 'a bird of sweetest song brought from the Canary Islands'. This bird was 4.5 to 5 inches (12-15 cm) in length, non-descript in appearance, and in comparison with modern canaries shows how much breeders have accomplished over the years. (1) 



Old Varieties Canary is a term that represents a group of canary breeds that are distinct for either their feather patterns or position. The origins of this canary type can be traced back to the 18th and 19th centuries with many breeds made popular during the Victorian Era.

In the past, Old Varieties Canaries were bred and shown primarily in Holland, Italy and Great Britain. While many canary breeds have become extinct, there are still numerous that remain popular today.



The Old Variety Canaries Association recognizes 15 different types of canaries. 


Parisian Frill

Italian Giant Frill

Northern Frill

Southern Frill

Scot Fancy



Belgian Fancy

Padovan Frill

Crest Bred

Fiorino Frill

Gibber Italicus Frill

Old Crested

Giboso Espanol

Red Frill

Swiss Frill



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