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Canary (Serinus canaria).—Eric Hosking
Popular cage bird (Serinus canaria; in the finch family, Fringillidae) that owes its coloration and sustained vocal powers to 400 years of selective breeding. Varieties called rollers trill almost continuously; choppers have a loud trill of distinct notes. Well-known breeds include Hartz Mountain, Norwich, and Yorkshire. The average life span of a caged canary is 10–15 years. The canary is native to the Canary, Azores, and Madeira islands. The wild form is streak-backed and mostly greenish brown.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on canary, visit Britannica.com.