top of page

Lizard Canary


Family: Fringillidae


courtesy to : www.animal-world . com  

Canary Species :  1  >  2  >  3  >  4  >  5  >  6  >  7  >  8  >  9  >  10  >  11  >  12  >  13  >  14 

Lizard Canary :


Lizard Canary Stats

Scientific Name:  Serinus canaria
Size:  5.5 inches
Native Region:  France
Life Expectancy:  Up to 10 years
Noise Level:  Quiet
Talk/Trick Ability:  Canaries are typically kept for their singing ability as well as their antics.

Lizard Canary Species Profile:


Traits:  The lizard canary, one of the oldest canary breeds, was first developed in the 1700s. This type of canary is named for its beautiful markings: black crescent-shaped spots running down its back and breast that resemble the scales of a lizard. The lizard canary almost became extinct in the early 1900s due to the ravages of both World Wars and disease epidemics. The lizard canary Association of Great Britain started a breeding program to save the species. The lizard canary occurs in four colors: gold lizard, silver lizard, blue lizard and red lizard. 


Lizard canaries are popular, good-natured birds that tend to breed easily. Their characteristic scale patterning, called spangling, is the most important aspect when showing these birds. The lizard canary also has a yellow “cap” of color on its head. They are a type canary, meaning they are bred for their physical appearance rather than their color or song.


Behavior/Health Concerns:  The lizard canary does well in either cages or aviaries. They are on the timid side and should not be housed together with parakeets, lovebirds or other hookbills that tend to be more aggressive. They like to bathe daily and should be given water to do so. Their environment should not be wet, cool or drafty, and if they are given space to sunbathe, they should also have a shaded area. Keep perches clean to avoid any foot problems.

Named for its unique markings, the striking Lizard Canary is one of the oldest canary breeds that has not been changed since it was first developed!

Potential Problems:


These birds are hardy and healthy if provided with a good environment and a good diet. Avoid an environment that is wet, cool, and drafty.


See About Canaries: Potential Problems for information on health.

Even though this pretty little bird is one of the oldest varieties it has had a rather rocky history. They almost became extinct in the early 1900's. With two world wars and disease epidemics, the Lizard Canary was reduced to only a couple dozen breeding pairs by the mid 1940's. With the help of the Lizard Canary Association of Great Britain and a closely monitored "come-back" breeding program, today this canary thrives and is one of most popular Type canaries available.


A "type canary", is bred for physical trait or shape rather than color or song. The Lizard Canary is bred for the spangled effect of its feathers, a result of a gene that restricts the tendency of melanin in the plumage. This spangling effect diminishes with each annual molt however, so a Lizard is best shown in its first year.

For more information about the care of Canaries see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Canary

Scientific Name : Serinus canaria domesticus




 The Lizard Canary originated in France in the 1700's. Though never extremely popular in Europe they were in no danger of disappearing, until the 1900's. Severely threatened with the advent of two world wars along with disease epidemics, their numbers were reduced to about only 40 birds. In 1945 the Lizard Canary Association of Great Britain was formed with the intent of re-establishing these birds, serious breeders selling birds only to other serious breeders. Today the Lizard Canary thrives and is one of most popular "type canaries" available.




The Lizard Canary reaches about 5 1/2 inches (14 cm) in length. The characteristic scale pattern of the Lizard, known as 'spangling, is the most important aspect of these birds for show. Spangling consists of a series of black crescent-shaped spots running in even uniform rows down their backs. 


Besides their characteristic feather pattern, the Lizard Canary is distinguished by a yellow 'cap' of color on its head. The cap is also very important for show. A nice oval full-cap starts at the beak and extends to the base of the head. A broken-cap is irregularly interspersed with dark feathers and if there is a predominance of dark feathers it is referred to as a non-cap.


These birds are available with either a ground color of yellow known as a 'gold', a ground of buff known as a 'silver', or with a red ground.


Care and feeding: 


Canaries like wide open spaces so provide a roomy cage. Provide a cage with vertical bars and small perches of different size for foot exercise. Have at least 1 perch set high in the cage for the canary to roost (sleep). The cage should be placed high, so the canary can look down on us so to speak.


Canaries eat mainly canary seed and rape seed. Vitamin coated canary seed mixes are readily available at a pet store. Greens are also enjoyed and can be offered daily along with a little calcium in the form of a cuttlebone.


They do like to bath, so should be offered a bird bath. Cage cleaning and toe nail trimming is about all the maintenance canaries need.


See About Canaries: Housing and About Canaries: Care and Feeding for more information.

Social Behaviors:


 They are good-natured social creatures that do well when kept in cages or in aviaries. They are timid birds though and should not be housed with parakeets, lovebirds, or other hookbills that tend to be more aggressive birds by nature.


 Male canaries should be kept in a cage by themselves to ensure quality singing. Males can be territorial and pairing up with two male canaries in a cage can cause fights. In a spacious aviary canaries can generally be housed with other canaries, finches, and other hardbills.




Canaries do not require toys, mirrors or any other form of entertainment, a swing is all they need to keep themselves occupied. Most of the time, canaries are simply enjoyed for their beauty and singing. However, some canaries are allowed out of their cage to perch or are show canaries and therefore require taming or training.

      See About Canaries: Handling/Training for information on taming and training.



The Lizard Canary is a very free breeder. Most canaries breed easily and readily if provided with quality food, lighting, secure surroundings, and conditioning. Breeding season for most canaries is usually from December to April. They are best bred in breeding cages.They lay their eggs in a nest. The female will lay 3 to 6 eggs, one per day. It is best to allow a hen to have only two clutches. Breeders will normally breed a full-cap Lizard Canary to a broken-cap.


See About Canaries: Breeding/Reproduction for more information on breeding.



 Lizard Canaries are fairly available with prices ranging between $50 to $100 US. They are most often available through breeders, but may also occasionally be found through bird shows, bird clubs, and on the internet.

Lizard Canary

canary lizard singing Duduś :)

Lizard Canary at Gouden Ring Bird Show

Lizard Canaries


courtesy to : 

The Lizard Canary - one of the oldest breeds - is believed to have arisen as a mutation fromcanaries in France during the early 1700s.


These lizard-like canaries almost became extinct in the early 1900s due to the ravages of two world wars and disease epidemics. By the mid 1940s, only about 40 of these canaries existed in Europe.


To save this canary species, the Lizard Canary Association of Great Britain initiated a closely monitored breeding program. Nowadays, it is now one of the most popular "Type Canaries". Type canaries are bred for physical trait or shape rather than color or song. The Lizard Canary is bred specifically for the "spangled effect" of its feathers.



The Lizard Canary averages about 5.5 inches (14 cm) in length (including its tail)..


This canary is named for its beautiful markings - the black crescent-shaped spots running down its back and breast, which resemble the scales of a lizard. This visual effect is known as "spangling". The Lizard Canaries gradually lose this lizard-like pattern with each annual molt.


The Lizard Canary occurs in 4 colors:


  • Gold Lizard (ground color of yellow)

  • Silver Lizard (warm buff)

  • Blue Lizard (white foundation)

  • Red Lizard (red foundation)

Lizard canaries have a single circular pattern of feathers on top of the head, which ideally should be oval with clear edges, but some are irregular shaped circles.


The caps are typically identified as:


  • Clear cap

  • Broken cap

  • Non-cap - The non cap lizards canaries should have a scale pattern from the beak to the spangle.

For exhibition purposes, the legs and the beak should be as dark as possible. This is sometimes achieved by color-feeding them.


The lizard canary is allowed to be color fed to enhance their red plumage (please see below photograph for color feeding instructions), as are the Yorkshire and Stafford types. Hens generally carry more breast markings than cocks and cocks color up darker than females.

Color-feeding Your Canary:


Feeding foods rich in beta-carotene, or a supplement of half pure beta-carotene and half pure canthaxanthin will enhance any red coloration in the canaries' plumage. However, color feeding is really only required when new feathers are growing in, and this usually occurs when birds are molting.


Commercially bought color supplements are available; however, they can be harmful to the birds' health. A more natural feeding protocol that includes fresh grated carrots and chopped 

broccoli (or any other fruit / vegetable rich in beta-carotene) is equally effective and healthier. Results of the color feedings vary - depending on how much each individual bird eats. .However, it should make a large difference compared to not "color feeding" at all, which will basically yield a yellow canary after the molt is completed.





















The Lizard Canary in Aviculture:


The Lizard Canary is a friendly, social bird and a free breeder. As most canaries, they breed easily and readily, if provided with quality food, lighting, secure surroundings, and conditioning.


Lizard canaries tend to be good breeders. The female will lay 3 to 6 eggs, one per day. It is best to allow a hen to have only two clutches a year. Breeders will normally breed a full-cap / (clear cap or no cap) Lizard Canary to a broken-cap.


Depending on location, Lizard Canaries are available at prices ranging from $50 to $150.

Canary Species :  1  >  2  >  3  >  4  >  5  >  6  >  7  >  8  >  9  >  10  >  11  >  12  >  13  >  14 

bottom of page