National Capital Region Aviaries

NCR Aviaries

Coloured Canaries
Red Factor

Singing Canaries
American Singers


Type Canaries

Green Singing Finches

Gray Singing Finches
Society Finches
Blue Headed Finches Red Headed Finches Gold Finches
Zebra Finches

Origins of Canaries
Caring for Canaries
Comparison of Songs

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Ottawa, Canada



Coloured Canaries

Yellows Intensive and Frost shown

Red Factors Intensive and Frost shown
Bronze A bird with melanistic green pigmentation on all of its feathers, legs, feet and beak It has a red ground with striated black melanistic pigmentation.
Brown A bird having brown striated melanistic pigmentation.
Isabel A diluted brown (cinnamon) bird.

Pastels A paling or dilute factor called ivory in the lipochrome and pastel in the melanin. The first reduction in black and brown melanin pigment produces agate, the second reduction is the Pastel. In the self, appears as a suffusion of brown melanistic pigmentation covering the entire plumage.
Agates The first reduction of a green canary diluting the black and brown melanin pigment, appearing as grey, with a characteristic moustache. 
Opals Characterized by the inhibition of brown, having gray/blue striated melanistic pigmentation. the dark, melanistic color appears in the underside of the feathers, while the outer feather have a milky gray/blue glaze.


The colour bred canaries, which includes many exotic coloured canaries such as the red, white, rose, bronze, brown, and mosaic canaries, are active, entertaining bird that have delighted people for years. Like all canaries, colour bred canaries do not, as a rule, like to be handled. If you are looking for a bird that likes to be held and snuggled, canaries are not the birds for you. Most canaries are territorial, and therefore should not be expected to willingly share a cage. They are not a social species and rarely if ever need company. Of course every individual is different, but do not assume your canary will do well in a cage with other birds. Most likely, it will do much better if caged separately.

There are a couple of hundred various colours which comprise the group known as Colourbred Canaries.  Only some of these colours are shown above.

In order to enhance the colour of the red canaries in this group, most enthusiasts will recommend "colour feeding". Colour feeding is the feeding of foods specifically designed to enhance colour, and this method is used with yellow and rose ground colours, as well as reds. Many canary breeds will exhibit an increase in red or orange colour by simply feeding things like cayenne pepper and paprika. Experts recommend using a carotenoid concentrate to bring out the potential in your red canary's plumage.

There is a risk to the bird's liver and kidneys if too much of the carotenoid concentrates used for this purpose are fed, so it is always advised to consult your veterinarian or breeder regarding the best possible choices in your canary's diet. It should be noted that most experts seem to hold that there are not health risks associated with carotenoid concentrates, as long as the doses are administered in the correct quantities and are not fed continuously all year round. Colour-feeding is needed slightly before and during the annual summer molt and should not be done throughout the rest of the year.

Like other canaries, these canaries can trace their origins to the wild canaries of the Canary Islands, which were first introduced to Europe by the Spanish. The name "Red Factor" is commonly (and erroneously) used for red coloured birds in this group and stems from the history of this colour's development in the canary, which came through the introduction of a genetic factor for red coloured feathers into the gene pool of the common Canary. The original red canaries were produced from the rare fertile hybrid offspring of a Venezuelan Red Siskin (South American Black-Capped Red Siskin) crossed with a normal yellow-ground canary. The red canary and all the other coloured canaries were developed entirely in captivity and do not occur in the wild.