Australian plainhead

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Clear buff Australian plainhead canary, not colourfed
A clear buff Australian plainhead

The Australian plainhead is a breed of domestic canary that was created for show purposes. The variety was developed through selective breeding and remains the only breed of canary created in Australia.

History[edit]

The Australian plainhead has its roots in the old style Norwich canaries that originated in Norwich, England and became a popular show variety in Australia.[1] In the 1930s, differences between the older show standard used by the breeders of Victoria, Australia and the more modern standards of the UK, created a bitter divide amongst Australian breeders of the Norwich canary.[2] Decades later, after the modern Norwich had largely displaced the old style birds from the Victorian show scene, a club was started in 1953 to preserve the old breed which was renamed the Australian plainhead.[2] By 1991 the number of Australian plainhead canaries in Australia had dropped to around 460 birds.[3] Whilst the Australian plainhead remains a rare breed it is now far more widespread with birds being bred throughout Australia and in the US.[3]

Showing[edit]

Clear buff Australian plainhead canary
A colour-fed clear buff Australian plainhead

The Australian plainhead is a "type canary" which is mainly judged for its shape (referred to as type). Despite this, the breed is also noted for its colour and feather quality.[4] Australian plainhead may be green, blue (grey), yellow, white, cinnamon, fawn and variegated. Show birds may be "colour-fed" carotenoids during molting which gives new feathers an orange hue, but this is optional.[5] The birds are shown in a box style show cage with a white interior.[5]

Breeding[edit]

Australian plainheads typically breed well with basic care and attention.[2] While many other large canary breeds require foster pairs to rear their offspring, Australian plainheads are good feeders and usually rear their own young.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Passignani, Giuliono; Giordana, Nicola; Barra, Ugo (2007). Il mondo dei Canarini di Forma e Posizione Lisci. Federazione Ornicoltori Italiani: Tipolitografia Editrice Lumini. pp. 195–198. 
  2. ^ a b c d Williams, Frank (2000). The Australian Plainhead Canary. J. Leaney & F. Williams. pp. 5–9, 20. ISBN 0 9585336 6 0. 
  3. ^ a b Leaney, Jeff (November 2005). "Plain, but attractive". Talking Birds: 7. 
  4. ^ Bracegirdle, Joe (1986). Exhibition canaries. England: Triplegate Ltd. pp. 133–134. ISBN 086230 054 1. 
  5. ^ a b Leaney, Jeff; Williams, Frank (1993). The Australian canary handbook. Melbourne, Australia: Jeff Leaney & Frank Williams. pp. 47–48. ISBN 0 646 15338 2. 

External links[edit]