Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Color Canaries: Information and Sound Recordings

Canary Information: General Care and Housing

Red Factor Canary

Song CanariesRed-factor Canaries

Color Canaries

These birds average about 5.5 inches or 14 cm in length.

They are bred for the color of their plumages rather than physical characteristics or song.

Color canaries occur in many colors, color intensities and variegations. The colors are a result of genes that control the melanin and lipochrome.


  • Melanin:
    • Produces a black / brown ground color

The absence of melanin results in a clear bird. Presence of melanin results in degrees of variegation.

  • Lipochrome / Ino-Factor
    • Yellow bird is referred to as a Lutino - yellow ground color obtained from the wild canary
    • Red bird is a Rubino - red ground color achieved by crossing the South American Red Siskin (Carduelis cucullata) with a yellow canary
    • White bird is an Albino / clear bird that lacks any melanin (pigments) in the feathers. Occurs in both dominant and recessive forms. The white of the dominant white canary is dominant to yellow (instead of being recessive). Dominant white canaries have a yellow tinge to the shoulders and the edges of the flight feathers (wings). Dominant white canaries may have dark or pink eyes, depending on the presence of the melanin.

(White Ground) Blue Variegated Canary

Red Factor canary
Dilutions of the melanin factors and primary colors:
  • Ivory
    • Lipochrom Yellow Ivory
    • Lipochrom Red Ivory
  • Pastel

Levels of Variegation:

  • Clear: No variegation at all
  • Self: All dark, with no light feathers (unbroken)
  • Ticked: Melanin only affects a few feathers in a patch that is no bigger than a dime
  • Foul: One or two light feathers in wing flights or tail

Everything in between the ticked canary and the foul canary is known as "variegated":

  • Lightly Variegated: Less than 50% dark markings
  • Medium Variegated: Between 50% - 74% dark markings
  • Heavily Variegated: More than 75% but less than 100% dark markings

The "Dilute Factor" refers to a paling or dilute factor in the lipochrome (called ivory) and pastel in the melanin.

Dilute Orange American Singer Canary Red Factor American Singer Canary

Agates: Black and brown melanin pigment are reduced; producing a shade of grey.

Agate American Singer Canary Agate American Singer Canary

Color Canaries About the "Color" Bred Canary
Green (Wild Type) Darkest black and brown melanin shade in yellow ground birds
Yellow Melanin Mutation showing yellow ground color with brown and black pigment
Yellow Lipochrome Mutation creating the loss of brown and black pigment leaving yellow ground color
Red Factor Melanin

Mutation showing red ground color with brown and black pigment.

Red Factor Lipochrome Mutation creating the loss of black and brown pigment leaving red ground color
Blue Factor Darkest black and brown melanin shade in white ground birds
Dominant White Dominant mutation creating the loss of black and brown pigment leaving white ground color
Recessive White Recessive mutation creating the loss of black and brown pigment leaving white ground color
Silver Factor Mutation that combines white ground color with brown and black pigment
Pastel Factor Sex-linked gene that reduces the intensity of black pigment in feathers
Ivory Factor Sex-linked gene that reduces the strength of overall color
Dimorphic Factor Sex-linked gene providing visual differences in gender such as the Mosaic
Opal Factor Autosomal recessive gene which inhibits brown pigment and dilutes black to gray
Cinnamon Sex linked mutation which eliminates all black pigment on a yellow ground bird
Fawn Sex linked mutation which eliminates all black pigment on a white ground bird
Agate Series Sex-linked gene which inhibits brown pigment but shows black/grey pigment
Isabel Series color mutation combination of Brown and Agate
Satinet sex-linked gene that produces pigment in back and flank markings only
Ino Autosomal recessive mutation causing red eyes on a bird with brown pigment
Phaeo mutation which inhibits black pigment and concentrates brown pigment on feather edges
Albino mutation causeing total lack of all pigment
Onyx Maximum expression of the black pigment and inhinbits brown pigment
Eumo Mutation that inhibits brown pigment and reduces black pigment

© Above chart is provided by Mandy and Paul - Breeder of Canaries and Other Exotic Birds - Singing Wings Aviary - www.singing-wings-aviary.com

Albino Canary

Other "Type" Canaries

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson (additional information by Singing Wings Aviary)

For updates please follow BeautyOfBirds on Google+ (google.com/+Avianweb)

Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.

BeautyOfBirds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!


More Bird Videos

More Bird Images

© Robert McAllister
© Michael Klotz - www.TheBirdBlogger.com
© Abhishek Raj