Quick Facts About the Norwich Canary
The Norwich canary, also known as the John Bull canary, is one of the oldest and most popular types of canaries, bred specifically for its appearance. The Norwich canary hails from Norwich, England, which is also where it gets its name.
Like most canaries, the Norwich canary comes in a multitude of different colors. Bred for its unique appearance, the Norwich has a rather round, stocky shape and is quite robust in build. Since it is heavier set than most canaries, the Norwich is not as active or lively as some pet canaries can be. Many owners of the Norwich canary find this to be a good trait, because it gives the Norwich a more laid back and relaxed personality.
Norwich canaries got their start in England when Flemish settlers brought them to Norfolk in the 1600s. They were bred for their short, thick body and broad head. Over time, the Norwich was bred with larger canary breeds so these canaries are bigger now than their ancestors were. Today’s Norwich canaries are usually just over 6-inches long.
One of the most distinctive features of Norwich canaries is their head. It is not tiny and pointy like most species of canary. The Norwich has a thick, fluffy head with full eye brows that sometimes even cover their eyes. If you come across a canary whose head feathers appear to be shielding its eyes, then you may be looking at a Norwich.
In the early days, the Norwich was bred both for the appearance of its body and for its color. That meant that Norwich canaries only came in 2 color varieties: red and orange, and the shades were particularly deep. Today’s Norwich canaries come in a variety of colors besides the deep oranges and reds, including white, cinnamon and clear.
Canaries make great pets for a number of reasons, and Norwich canaries are no exception. For starters, canaries take up very little space. They require only a cage with a few perches, food and water and perhaps a special treat or toy from time to time. Pet stores carry special canary food that provides the birds with all of the nutrients they need on a daily basis. The food needs to be checked daily and refilled as needed. Canaries enjoy munching on greens as a frequent treat, and they can get a bit of extra calcium from a cuttlebone in their cage every week or two.
Most people love to hear their canaries sing, and they do this often as long as they live in a positive social situation. Canaries are rather timid by nature, so they do not do well when housed with more aggressive birds like parakeets or lovebirds. Canaries can be housed in pairs or groups with other canaries, although keeping 2 males in one cage is not recommended because they may become territorial. A canary going solo in its own cage will usually sing have the prettiest and most enjoyable song. But all canaries will sing, so go ahead and fill an aviary with them if that sounds like a doable option.
Canaries are quite easy to take care of, and require little more than food, water and a bath every so often. They do enjoy bathing, so make it a regular routine. Although most canary owners are content with leaving the birds in their cages and enjoying their song, some canaries are allowed out of the cage from time to time and seem to enjoy the interaction. This is all determined by the pet and its owner, but it is a fun possibility.