Border Fancy Canary
2- Border Canary :
Border Canary Stats
Scientific Name: Serinus canaria
Size: 5.5 inches
Native Region: Scotland/England
Life Expectancy: Up to 10 years
Noise Level: Quiet, with a choppy song
Talk/Trick Ability: Canaries are kept for their singing ability and antics.
Border Canary Species Profile :
Traits: The border canary, also called the border fancy canary, is a lively, pleasant-natured bird bred more for its physical appearance than for its song. It is a type canary). This bird was once nicknamed the "Wee Gem" and it is a small, compact and hardy bird. Most often this type of canary is yellow, but it does come in a variety of other colors as well, including white, buff, green and cinnamon, and it can be variegated or ticked.
Border canaries are active, engaging birds that fit into the popular notion of the "Tweety" bird character. They are good natured and social and tend to amuse and entertain themselves with their own activities and singing. Birds of this species that do come out of their cage for perching or to be show birds require some training, and they are easy to train. They are relatively low maintenance birds that enjoy an enriched environment.
Behavior/Health Concerns: The border canary does well in either cages or aviaries. They are on the timid side and should not be housed together with parakeets, lovebirds or other hookbills that tend to be more aggressive. In a spacious aviary, canaries can generally be housed with other canaries, finches and other hardbills. They like to bathe daily and should be given water to do so. Their environment should not be wet, cool or drafty, and if they are given space to sunbathe, they should also have a shaded area to protect from too much sun. Keep perches clean to avoid any foot problems.
The border canary originated from the Chopper canary selectively bred in the British Isles around the 1700s. In 1889 at a gathering at the town of Langholm the name border canary and its standards were put into effect. Border canaries stand at a 60-degree angle."
—Mandy Currie, Singing Wings Aviary
Care and feeding:
Canaries like wide open spaces so provide a roomy cage. Provide a cage with vertical bars and small perches of different size for foot exercise. Have at least 1 perch set high in the cage for the canary to roost (sleep). The cage should be placed high, so the canary can look down on us so to speak.
Canaries eat mainly canary seed and rape seed. Vitamin coated canary seed mixes are readily available at a pet store. Greens are also enjoyed and can be offered daily along with a little calcium in the form of a cuttlebone.
They do like to bath, so should be offered a bird bath. Cage cleaning and toe nail trimming is about all the maintenance canaries need.
Border Canary ~ "Wee Gem"
When we think of a"canary", the Border Fancy Canary is the typical image of what we think a canary should look like... strengthening this impression are images such as the famous cartoon animation of "Tweety Bird"!
The Border Fancy Canary is the most popular bird in shows today. As a"type canary", it is bred for physical appearance rather than for song. Once nicknamed the "Wee Gem", this pretty little bird is small, compact, and hardy. It has a round body with very glossy plumage. Though most often seen in yellow, it is also found in a variety of other colors.
A wonderful cage bird, the Border Fancy Canary is very lively. It has a pleasant character and sings a variety of robust songs. Sometimes it is confused with the Gloster Fancy Canary but can be distinguished by it's more intense "chopper" type song than that of the Gloster.
For more information about the care of Canaries see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Canary
Serinus canaria domesticus
There is very little known about the background of the Border Fancy Canary other than it is said to have evolved in the late 1700's or early 1800's from the 'common' canary along the borders of northern England and Scotland. The name and standards for the Border Canary were adopted in 1889 at Langholm in 1889, a town close to the border of Scotland and England, and it was officially named with establishment of the Border Fancy Canary Club on June 5, 1890.
The Border Fancy Canary is a nice round, well built bird. The original Border Canary was once called the "Wee Gem" with a size of about 4 1/2 inches, today it is no longer so small and this name has gone by the wayside. The ideal Border Fancy Canary today will be about about 5 1/2 inches (14 cm) long.
Their usual color is yellow, but they can also be found in white, yellow, buff, green, cinnamon, and may also be variegated or ticked. For showing, any that have red ground tendencies will be disqualified.
They are good-natured social creatures that do well when kept in cages or in aviaries. They are timid birds though and should not be housed with parakeets, lovebirds, or other hookbills that tend to be more aggressive birds by nature.
Male canaries should be kept in a cage by themselves to ensure quality singing. Males can be territorial and pairing up with two male canaries in a cage can cause fights. In a spacious aviary canaries can generally be housed with other canaries, finches, and other hardbills.
Canaries do not require toys, mirrors or any other form of entertainment, a swing is all they need to keep themselves occupied. Most of the time, canaries are simply enjoyed for their beauty and singing. However, some canaries are allowed out of their cage to perch or are show canaries and therefore require taming or training.
For showing, the Border Fancy Canary requires more training than some of the other canaries, such as the Gloster Fancy Canary. This is because they are a bird of action and need to move from perch to perch, being judged on how well they land.
Border Fancy Canaries are free breeding and are similar to breeding other canaries.Most canaries breed easily and readily if provided with quality food, lighting, secure surroundings, and conditioning. They are best bred in breeding cages.
They lay their eggs in a nest. The female will lay 3 to 6 eggs, one per day. Breeding season is usually from December to April; it is best to allow a hen to have only two clutches.
These birds are hardy and healthy if provided with a good environment and a good diet. Avoid an environment that is wet, cool, and drafty.
Border Fancy Canaries are readily available and are fairly inexpensive, with prices ranging between $50 to $150 US. Sometimes available at pet stores, but more readily they can be found through bird shows, bird clubs, breeders, and on the internet.
Border canaries are seen in the following colors...
This Type Canary may also be "ticked" or "variegated".
Border Canary Show Standards:
Note: The below images on this page are courtesy of Laurie Lane. (Please follow the link to see her canary photo gallery)
Border Canary Species
courtesy to :
The Border Canary evolved from the 'common' canary, bred in the North of England and the Scottish Borders from the 1700s.
Border Canaries are hardy birds with a well-rounded head and big, alert eyes.
Many color variations are available in aviculture, including yellows and buffs, clears, ticked, variegated, greens, cnnamons, and whites and blues.
Solid yellow or white colored Canaries are normally referred to as "clears" while solid green, cinnamon or blues are called "selfs". Pied canaries are known as "variegated" canaries
Border Fancys are most often confused with theGloster Canary but can be differentciated by their song. Chopper notes can be heard by the Border while the Gloster sings with more of a Roller-Chopper mix.
Breeding the Border Canary:
You can also breed the Border Canary in an indoor breeding cage or aviary - if the latter is your choice, then please make sure that the aviary has a closed-in area for protection from the cold, wind and wet. Be particularly careful in colder climates as canaries don't like to be chilled. When breeding in an aviary you usually have more hens than cocks, to avoid the cocks fighting. Breeders who show, keep their birds in cabinets to keep them better trained and not as wild.
Borders usually come into breeding condition from around March; recognizable signs of which include cocks and hens feeding their feet or cage wires, cocks singing loudly, dropping their wings to their sides at the same time and swapping from foot to foot as if the perch was on fire. Hens get into the "nest-building mode" and start carrying items that they deem suitable nesting material. Hens show their readiness to their mates by jumping up into the air off the perch and turning around in mid flight at the same time. At that time hens start building their nests.
Phil Warne's 2010 border canary
The easiest method is to place them in an aviary or large cage and let nature take its course. If you do, then the male will help raise the chicks.
However, breeders wishing to maximize the young they get from each cock may follow the below process:
When obvious signs of readiness present themselves, place the hens into their breeding cages, add nesting bowls in the back of the cages and provide nesting materia - which could be dried grass, leaves, even lint from the dryer (as long as no chemicals were used to wash or dry the clothes -- no dryer sheets!).
Breeders might trim the feathers around the vent area to facilitate breeding success -- but make sure not to trim the feathers that are coming directly off the vent which are called guide feathers and are believed to help during mating. Once the female is settled, add the male to the breeding cage. If the hen is ready to be bred, she will squat and they will mate straight away, if nothing has happened after 30 minutes or so, then remove the cock and put him back into his stock cage and try him again later.
This so-called the strike method is used by top breeders to get as many young from their best cock birds, but t it can result in many clear / infertile eggs if things don't go right. Being able to read the condition is critical for this type of breeding.
A beginner might be better of setting his or her stock up either in an aviary or if in cages - side by side and only pair: one cock to one hen in a double breeding cage with a divider.. Keep the divider open about 1/2 inch and when either the hen is building a nest or you see the cock feeding the hen through the slide then introduce them together and leave them together to breed and rear their young.
Alternatively, you could consider a trio set up: with a cock in a middle cage and two hens either side of him but still using the same principles as above with the slides etc. The cock could run with one hen in a morning then the other in an afternoon. These methods are a lot safer for beginners and should ensure that you get youngsters in your first year.
Nestling Food: At the time when the canaries have chicks to take care for you need to provide special food items to them. Nestling food can also be mixed with egg. To four cups of dry nestling food, add one pound grated carrots, and one dozen grated hard boiled eggs. Chop the eggs in a food processor shells and all. This is for about fifty feeding hens. Boil the eggs for twelve to fourteen minutes to ensure that no fowl diseases are transmitted to the canaries.
This mixture is given in an amount that the birds will eat in one hour. All birds get one treat cup per day of this egg mix. The supply for birds with feeding young is constantly renewed during the day. The nestling food with egg spoils very rapidly, particularly during the Summer. It would be best to prepare the egg mix fresh every day. If this is not possible, refrigerate the excess immediately.