Canary talk for Ellon Probus Club

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At the meeting of Ellon Probus Club on September 27 former President Alistair Sinclair welcomed the President of Fraserburgh Probus Club, Bill Mathew, as the guest speaker.

The topic of Bill’s talk was canaries, the small song bird so loved by bird fanciers.

Bill has had an interest in canaries for over forty years and has been a regular and successful shower at ‘Canary Beauty Contests’ throughout Scotland. At present he has over 40 birds.

Members learned that the many strains and colours of canaries all originate from a small wild songbird that inhabited Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands.

These wild canaries were found to be readily domesticated and by the 17th century had been exported to Spain. Since then the canary has spread worldwide.

Through selective breeding canaries are now found in a variety of colours from blue, green, cinnamon and yellow to white - white canaries being the most sought after.

In Britain canaries have been traditionally kept as pets. Male canaries of the ‘Roller’ strain are bred for their singing ability, while other strains are bred for their looks. In recent years canaries have been sold for up to £10,000 per pair.

In giving a vote of thanks Reg Smith could not avoid commenting that Bill had given Probus members a new insight into the field of aviation.

The next meeting is the AGM, to be held on Thursday 25 October. The speaker that day, in appreciation of his year’s tenure as President, will be Alistair Sinclair.