Canaries are usually known as Yellow or Domestic Canaries. They are Finches whose ancestors lived in the wild on several Atlantic Islands, but have been kept and bred as cage birds for more than 100 years.
All of our Canaries have been donated as cage birds whose owners can no longer look after them. They eat mainly small seeds, but also small insects such as ants.
The wild birds have a lot of yellow feathers, and the most common form of domestic Canary is pure bright yellow. Selective breeding over many years has produced birds with a wide variety of colours and shapes of feathers.
Canaries are particularly noted for being kept by miners and taken down into coal mines. The Canary would stop singing as an early indication that poisonous and explosive gas (methane, sometimes called "firedamp") had reached a dangerous level.
Sadly, the poor Canary often could not live in the presence of the gas, but it would save many human lives. For many years miners have been able to use equipment to warn of danger and so Canaries have become popular pets in homes.