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Canary Bird

canaries and yellow

CANARY BIRD. Would you pay $75 for a pet bird no larger than a sparrow? If it were a Harz canary you might have to pay even more. These little singers are famous the world over for their song power, and in the Harz Mountains of Germany their breeding is an important household industry. An especially fine songster is often used to train the young birds.

Such bird teachers are called " campaninis." Canaries as cage-birds were introduced into Italy from the Canary Islands in the 16th century. They are now common household pets in all parts of the world. They belong to the finch family and in their wild state are gray or greenish yellow. The mother canary builds the nest and hatches the babies from her four or five blue eggs, but the father bird does most of the feeding.

The yellow plumage of the tame canary is produced by special breeding. Some canaries are bred more for their beauty than for song power. Of these, the gold and silver-spangled canaries are considered hand somest. Another rare variety is the cayenne canary, the brilliant red of its feathers being due to careful feeding with red pepper.

Canaries must be regularly attended to and the cage kept scrupulously clean. The best food is grass seed, some hemp seed, and greens. Lime is necessary and the birds find just the right kind in cuttlefish bone. Fresh drinking water must be kept in the cage and a bird bath provided frequently. The perch must be no thicker than a lead pencil, so that the toes of the little feet can grasp it easily. Scientific name of the canary, Carduelis canaria.