A popular songbird, the atlantic canary (Serinus canaria) was domesticated as early as the 15th century, and has since been selectively bred to produce a range of brightly coloured varieties. The plumage of the wild island canary, however, is generally an attractive greenish-yellow with olive-brown streaking. The underparts of the male island canary are a dull golden-yellow, with an olive hue on the chin, throat and breast. Its upperparts are grey with dark streaking, and it has a pale yellow face. The tail is dark brown with pale green around the edge, and is forked or notched. The island canary has a pale pink bill and brown legs and feet. The female island canary is similar in appearance to the male, but is generally duller, with much more grey on the face and upperparts, and much heavier black streaking on the back and head. The juvenile island canary is generally pale brown with dark streaking on the back and head, and has a dull, greenish-yellow forehead and brown tail. The underparts have some of the yellow colouration of the adult. The popularity of the island canary as a cage bird is in part due to its distinctive song, which is rich and musical, consisting of melodious fluty whistles and trills, interspersed with twitters or churrs. The song contains both repeated and non-repeated syllables, and can last for up to 25 seconds.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.