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(kənâr`ē), common name for a familiar cage bird of the family Ploceidae (Old World finchfinch,
common name for members of the Fringillidae, the largest family of birds (including over half the known species), found in most parts of the world except Australia.
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 family), descended from either the wild serin finch or from the very similar wild canary, Serinus canarius, of the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores and introduced into Europe in the late 15th or early 16th cent. The wild birds are usually gray or green; selective breeding has produced both plain and variegated birds, mostly yellow and buff but sometimes greenish. Germany is traditionally the center for training and breeding canaries; the Harz Mt. and the St. Andreasberg canaries originated there. The birds are trained to sing by exposure to other birds of superior ability or to musical instruments. The song of roller canaries is a series of "tours," a complex set of rolling trills delivered with the bill almost closed; choppers sing with the bill open. Canaries breed rapidly in captivity and with proper care may live to 15 years or more. Canaries are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Ploceidae.



(Serinus canaria), a bird of the family Fringillidae of the order Passeriformes. The canary has a body length measuring 12–14 cm. The male has a yellowish green back with dark streaks and a yellow breast and throat; the female’s plumage is greenish. The bird is widely distributed on the Madeira Islands, the Azores, and the Canary Islands (hence the name). It was brought to Europe and domesticated in the 16th century; it multiplies readily in captivity. Many varieties have been bred, differing in appearance and song; for this reason the birds are popular as pets, kept in cages.

Similar to the canary is the serin (S. serinus), which is sometimes considered to be only a subspecies of canary. The serin is distributed in northwest Africa, in Asia Minor, on the Arabian Peninsula, and in Europe (except northern Europe). It lives in the USSR in the western European areas.

The canary settles in gardens and parks, nesting in trees. The female lays three to five eggs and incubates them for 13 days. The bird feeds mainly on seeds.


Lukina, E. V. Pevchie i tsvetnye kanareiki. Moscow, 1966.


An expression used in lieu of squawk in some countries. The prefixes sing and strangle are used in lieu of orders for putting the IFF (identification friend or foe) on and off, respectively.


a small finch, Serinus canaria, of the Canary Islands and Azores: a popular cagebird noted for its singing. Wild canaries are streaked yellow and brown, but most domestic breeds are pure yellow
References in periodicals archive ?
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Kimberley Wyatt FORMER Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt is a ray of sunshine in this canary yellow maxi dress.
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