September 6, 2015 – Red Factor Canary (Serinus canaria domestica)

600th Bird

These domestic canaries have been bred for their bright red color. They were developed in the 1920s by crossing yellow canaries and Venezuelan Red Siskins (Spinus cocullatus), then breeding the hybrid birds with purebred canaries until the color was the only visible trait left from their siskin ancestors. Along with selective breeding, diet plays an important role in their coloration. They must be fed a diet rich in carotenoids to stay bright red, without it their plumage will be a lighter orange.

For my 600th bird, I thought I’d draw one that was particularly special to me. A Red Factor Canary was one of my first pets, though I was probably around four or five when we got him, so technically he was my mom’s. His name was Seedy and he was a beautiful bird with an amazing song. He loved singing along to the sound of running water.