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The Canary Council began its life as an off-shoot of the National Council for Aviculture. At a preliminary meeting held on 9th January 1984 it was agreed to invite two delegates from each of the sections of the canary fancy, namely: Roller, Gloster, Border, Fife Fancy, Yorkshire, Colour, Norwich, Lizard and Old Variety, to form the Council. The first exploratory meeting was held on Sunday, 10th March 1985 in Leicester.

Canaries were first introduced into Europe from islands off the north-west coast of Africa by Portuguese and Spanish explorers in the second half of the 15th century. Though the early years of their domestication are not well documented, it is known that they were imported into England as household pets, in Elizabethan times and subsequently increased in popularity, both on the continent and in this country.

By the middle of the 18th century, in common with the measures then being undertaken to improve farming stock following the enclosures of land, canary breeders in England were developing distinct varieties by selective breeding.

There are records of specialist societies that were breeding and exhibiting these varieties in London by the end of the century.

Unlike some domesticated stock, the canary lifestyle has always followed the pattern of their wild counterparts, in that a cock and a hen pair up, build a nest, lay eggs and incubate them, and rear young upon hatching. This is done without any assistance from the fancier, apart from the original selection of the pairing and the supply of suitable nesting material, food and water. than

Their preparation for exhibition often  involves no more than ensuring that the birds are in perfect condition and plumage and are at ease in their show cage. A period of show cage training should precede exhibitions. The great majority of exhibitions are held in the Autumn/Winter following the moult.

Aims & Objectives

(i)                     To encourage the keeping, breeding, exhibition and study of all recognised breeds of the domestic canary throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

(ii)                   To affiliate to and uphold the rules and objectives of the National Council for Aviculture (NCA).

(iii)                  To make representations, either directly or through the NCA to statutory bodies, national organisations and government departments and others on matters appertaining to the canary fancy.

(iv)                 To send representatives to the meetings of, and otherwise participate in, the activities of the NCA.

(v)                   To encourage the governing bodies of each variety of domestic canary to become members of the Canary Council.

(vi)                 To organise shows, events, campaigns, promotions or other such activities in the interests of the canary fancy.

(vii)                To do anything else the Canary Council considers appropriate and reasonable to achieve its objectives.

Membership is open to the national governing body of each recognised breed of domestic canary. The affairs of the Canary Council are managed by meetings of delegates from Member Societies.

Delegates from the eleven canary sections meet twice a year to discuss matters appertaining to the canary fancy and aviculture as a whole. Issues under current debate include the Animal Welfare Act , Avian Flu, compulsory closed ringing and the return of a National Exhibition of Cage and Aviary Birds.

In conjunction with the National Council for Aviculture, the Canary Council has produce a booklet on the care requirements of canaries as household pets or exhibition birds. “Canary Basics” covers housing, feeding, breeding and the moult. Copies are available from the Secretary,  Chris Smith, 61 Eastmead Avenue, Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 9RF,    for 50p plus a SAE.