Not only is the handsome Yorkshire Canary one of the largest of the canary breeds, it is also one of the older breeds!
With its proud diplomatic stance, the Yorkshire Canary has invoked such names as “The Guardsman”, and the “Gentleman of the Fancy” during its long history. Though It is not quite the same bird today as it was in the the mid 1800’s, then being described as “so slim it could pass through a wedding ring”, it is a tall slender alert bird with a proud bearing.
The Yorkshire Canary is a favorite of fanciers throughout the world. Because of Its length, being well over 6 inches, it will need to be housed in a larger cage than that of the smaller canary breeds, It will also need a larger nest and be a bit more demanding in its diet.
For more information about the care of Canaries see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Canary
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Actiniform
- Class: Elasmobranchii
- Order: Passeriformes
- Family: Fringillidae
- Genus: Serinus
- Species: canaria
Research indicates that the the present day Yorkshire Canary has quite a diverse heritage. Its development dates back to the mid 1800’s in England. It was first shown in 1870 in Yorkshire, thus its name. In 1894 the Yorkshire Canary Club was formed which approved the initial ideal type for this variety, but it was not until 1935 that the desired standards used today for this “type canary” were reached.
The Yorkshire was developed from crossbreeding the common canary with the Lancashire, Norwich, and Belgian canaries to add such qualities as length, improved color and feather quality, vigor and stance. The Yorkshire Canary seen today is a large canary with an attentive bold bearing, excellent feathering, and a graceful distinctive outline.
The “Gentleman of the Fancy” canaries, the Yorkshire Canary is a “type canary” bred for physical appearance rather than color or song. This is one of the largest of the canary types, reaching lengths of over 6 inches (15 cm), with the average being about 6 3/4 inches (17 cm). They are tall, slender and symmetrical; being broad across the upper body with a narrow waist and a bold alert stance
The feathers are short, tight and silky. They can be found in colors of green, yellow, buff, cinnamon, and white.
Care and feeding:
Like all canaries, the Yorkshire Canary enjoys wide open spaces so provide a roomy cage. Do to their size, they will need an even larger cage and nest box than other canaries, 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.
See About Canaries: Housing and About Canaries: Care and Feeding for more information.
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.
See About Canaries: Handling/Training for information on taming and training.
Most canaries breed easily and readily if provided with quality food, lighting, secure surroundings, and conditioning. The Yorkshire Canary is relatively easy to breed and will readily rear their young. 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. It is best to allow a hen to have only two clutches.
See About Canaries: Breeding/Reproduction for more information on breeding.
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.
See About Canaries: Potential Problems for information on health.
Yorkshire Canaries are a specialty bird with prices starting at about $100 US and up. They are most often available through breeders, but may also occasionally be found through bird shows, bird clubs, and on the internet.