Atlantic Canary Serinus canaria (Linnaeus, 1758)
Order: Passeriformes Family: Fringillidae Status: Breeding in Madeira
Recommended birdwatching tours to watch this bird
Atlantic Canary Field ID Keys
Shape & Size
A small songbird with a roundish body, a relatively long, forked tail and a fairly heavy bill.
A bird easily identified by its bright yellow breast and brownish back with greyish stripes. The female is distinct from the male by being less colourful.
The Canary is native to the Macaronesia area (Madeira, Azores and the Canary Islands).
This bird is widely distributed throughout the Madeira archipelago, being found on the islands of Madeira, Desertas and Porto Santo, from seashore to upper altitudes. Being so it does not have a well-defined habitat, but farm lands, gardens and areas with creeping or sparse vegetation are the most common.
Distinction from similar species
Canary is very similar to European Serin being the latter smaller in size, shorter-tailed, with shorter bill and less yellow on the underparts. Songs of each species will be a good diagnostic feature.
Serinus canaria Biometrics
Total length: 12.5 - 13.5 cm (Svensson et al, 2009)
Other Bird Facts
Seasonality in Madeira: All year
Breeding: Canaries lay 3 to 5 eggs up to 6 broods between January and July.
Diet: Feeds on seeds.
Madeira local status by Romano et al, 2010: Very Common breeding bird
Madeira local status by Zino et al, 1995: Very Common breeding bird
Conservation status by the IUCN Red List Categories, 2013: Least Concern ver 3.1
Canaries were once used in coal mining as a warning system. Due to their tendency to sing much of the time, they provided a good audible evidence for toxic gases releases, as it would die before affecting the miners.
Name of this species in other languages
Spanish: Canario, Serín Canario
French: Serin des Canaries
Italian: Canarino delle Isole Canarie
Slovak: Kanárik divý
Czech: Kanár divoký
English synonyms: Island Canary
Edited by Catarina Fagundes
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