Color Canaries: Information and Sound Recordings

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.

Categories:

  • 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 CanaryRed Factor American Singer Canary


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

Agate American Singer CanaryAgate American Singer Canary

Color CanariesAbout the "Color" Bred Canary
Green (Wild Type)Darkest black and brown melanin shade in yellow ground birds
Yellow MelaninMutation showing yellow ground color with brown and black pigment
Yellow LipochromeMutation 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 LipochromeMutation creating the loss of black and brown pigment leaving red ground color
Blue FactorDarkest black and brown melanin shade in white ground birds
Dominant WhiteDominant mutation creating the loss of black and brown pigment leaving white ground color
Recessive WhiteRecessive mutation creating the loss of black and brown pigment leaving white ground color
Silver FactorMutation that combines white ground color with brown and black pigment
Pastel FactorSex-linked gene that reduces the intensity of black pigment in feathers
Ivory FactorSex-linked gene that reduces the strength of overall color
Dimorphic FactorSex-linked gene providing visual differences in gender such as the Mosaic
Opal FactorAutosomal recessive gene which inhibits brown pigment and dilutes black to gray
CinnamonSex linked mutation which eliminates all black pigment on a yellow ground bird
FawnSex linked mutation which eliminates all black pigment on a white ground bird
Agate SeriesSex-linked gene which inhibits brown pigment but shows black/grey pigment
Isabel Seriescolor mutation combination of Brown and Agate
Satinetsex-linked gene that produces pigment in back and flank markings only
InoAutosomal recessive mutation causing red eyes on a bird with brown pigment
Phaeomutation which inhibits black pigment and concentrates brown pigment on feather edges
Albinomutation causeing total lack of all pigment
OnyxMaximum expression of the black pigment and inhinbits brown pigment
EumoMutation 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)

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