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Historic and Characteristic facts of the Lizard Canary

(French: le Lézard Canari) The History: At night of 23-24 August 1572 a violent riot by a crowd of catholic fiends against the Huguenots (Calvinist Protestants) kill on order of the king thousands of Huguenots and their leaders. This high point of the “French Wars of Religions” comes as the “St. Bartholomew's Day massacre” in history. An enormous escape of the Huguenots to Britain followed. The Legend: With the escape of the Huguenots also the Lizard canaries were taken and arrived so the island. Why Legend? Here lack the direct evidence for the fact, that the Lizard canary so came to Britain. Fact is, that in Britain the Lizard canaries for long time was named as “French Canaries”  Further notes that the origin is from France, is the  English wording “Jonque” for non-intensive Lizards up to end of the 19. Century. “Jonque” was derived from French term “Jonquilles”, a  species of  the wild and yellow narcissus flower ( the native French daffodil). If we read the story up here, it should be understood that the Lizard canaries before the escape of the Huguenots to Britain have existed - in France and/or Britain. Probably is also to be assumed that it is the oldest canary species. In “The Bird Fancier’s Guide and necessary Companion” from 1762 the Lizard canary wasn’t named by its present name, but as “The fine Spangled Sort…”. Further it was described that this specie “… was brought hither from France but since much improved in colour and beauty by English breeders…” First, the name Lizard was written demonstrably in the english publication “The British Aviary and Bird Breeders Companion” from the year 1825: "There is a class of canaries known by the name of Lizards ....having a clean yellow cap, their back and breasts bespangled …”, and the first illustration of a Lizard canary could be seen in “The London Illustrated News“ of 12 December 1846. The name Lizard canary was given because the pattern of its plumage has been likened to the scales of an exotic lizard.
Also something special must be noted here. Even before Gregor Johann Mendel  (*1822; +1884) published in 1866 his “Principles of Heredity” Lizard fanciers have described the right mating examples for the conservation of this mutation, despite the lack of knowledge about the “Mendelian principles” As with other canary types in Britain was the species Lizard canary at the end of the World War II in an almost hopeless situation. Only a small group of Lizard fanciers kept this wonderful type canary. The founding of the “Lizard Canary Association (LCA)” in 1945 by this dedicated lizard fanciers saved the stock (less than 250 birds) and spread a new interest.
The naming of the Lizards in the individual ground colours differs from the “colour canaries”: - Gold(en) Lizard canary for the intensive yellow ground colour - Silver Lizard canary for the non-intensive/buff yellow ground colour (old term: Mealy) - Blue Lizard canary for the white ground colour. The inheritance of the Blue Lizard canary is autosomal dominant alike the “Dominant white canary” - Red Lizard canary for the red ground colour The Lizard canary appears in different caps variations:  - Non Capped: When the light coloured cap on the crown of the head is entirely absent and is replaced by dark feathers of the normal Lizard pattern. - Near Non Cap Lizard: When head and neck are marked by a light feather or feathers to an extent not exceeding 1/10th of the normal extent of the Lizard Cap. - Clear Cap: When the light colour of the cap is unbroken by any dark feathers. - Nearly Clear Cap: When the cap contains a dark feather or feathers which cover an area of not exceeding 1/10th of the total area of the cap. - Broken Cap: When the light area of the cap is more or less broken by dark feathers. The Lizard canary is classified in the category Type Canaries/ Posture Canaries and belongs to the little smooth-feathered species. More about the Standard description of the Lizard canary read here >
Further more it is believed that the Lizard canary was the basis to the now-extinct London Fancy canary. The Lizard Canary is not only the oldest mutation. This species is unique in being of its appearance and bred for the special pattern and markings of its plumage, namely the special spangled effect of its feathers, a result of a gene that restricts the tendency of melanin in the plumage. Unfortunately, but also characteristic is that the spangling effect diminishes with each annual moult however. The best and special appearance of the Lizard canary is seen only in the first year. A perfect Lizard canary is produced for one year only. The important characteristics in appearance are: - regular and distinct spanglings on the back - extensive and regular rowings on the breast and flanks. - dark beak, legs, feet and toenails - black wings and tail flights
The London Fancy Canary is an extinct Type Canary. Is the rebirth possible? read more>
The Columbus Fancy Canary  also called “America’s Type Canary belongs to the type canaries and is only recognized in America ... read more>

       The description of the Lizard Canary

  from an original Cigarette or Trade Card by

                   John Player & Son is: 

                        AVIARY AND CAGE BIRDS                                         [No.] 9                                 LIZARD  CANARY The ancestry of these handsome birds may be traced back to the early history of Canary breeding. The feathering is fine and silky and, unlike most Canaries, the beak, legs and feet are dark. Their are two colours, Gold and Silver - and the classes for these are divided into Clear and Broken Caps. The cap and the even spangling of the feathers are important features. Lizard Canaries are hardy, and suitable for outdoor aviaries. When the birds are ready for breeding fix up nest-pans, and hang bundles of the medicated nesting material which is sold for the purpose. For feeding, etc., see card 7. ISSUED BY JOHN PLAYER & SONS, BRANCH OF THE IMPERIAL TOBACCO CO OF GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND LTD. [issued in 1935]
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