This is one of the male canaries that can often be heard singing in the Walled Garden aviary. Whilst the males have been showing off, their mates have been busy nest building and if you look carefully amongst the bamboo you may spot the nests they have skillfully woven.
Wild canaries are a yellow-green colour and are found on the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. They have been popular pets for hundreds of years and many breeds have been developed in a wide range of colours and body shapes. There are show standards for these breeds and there are even singing competitions for some types.
Canaries were famously take into mines, where they would act as an early warning system for the miners as the birds would quickly be affected by any dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide; this was only phased out in Britain in the 1980’s.