Gloster Canary

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Is the Gloster Canary right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Gloster Fancy Canary; Gloster Corona (has visible crest) ; Gloster Consort (has smooth head but carries the gene for the crest)

Scientific name: Serinus canaria domesticus

The basics:
The Gloster Canary may be the single most popular “type” canary bred to display a charming crest. Birds that express the beautiful crest are called Gloster Corona, while birds that carry the gene for the crest but don't have a crest themselves, are more properly called the Gloster Consort. To produce strong babies, you must always mate a Corona with a Consort, and never risk pairing a Corona with another Corona. The Gloster Canary is smaller than the Crested Canary variety from which it was developed, which seems to add to its “cute” appearance.

The Gloster Canary is a rather newish breed, with lots of development work being done in England in the 1920s, as breeders raced to develop a miniature crested canary. The varieties in its background include choice but smaller Crested Canaries, crested Roller Canaries, and crested Border Canaries. The result was this highly popular variety, which ranks as one of the most coveted pet canaries in the British Isles.

An exhibition-quality Gloster Corona Canary will possess a perfect symmetry, with its crown feathers radiating outward from a central core. There will be no missing or interrupted feathers, and the eyes will not be obscured from view. Also, while the Gloster Canary may come in a variety of patterns and colors, there must not be any Red Factor in the mix.

15 grams (0.5 oz.)

Average size:
11 - 12 centimeters (4.3 - 4.7 in.)

7 - 12 years

Behavior / temperament:
The Gloster Canary is probably the most popular crested canary, and for good reason, since it's a tiny charmer with a great personality. Even though the Gloster is a “type” canary bred for looks and not song, a single male kept as a pet will sing – and often they'll sing very loudly and quite well. To give your pet the best chance of developing a great voice, make sure to play high quality canary song recordings to your male from the very beginning. Male canaries sing from exuberance and an excess of testosterone, as well as to claim territory and to attract females. Therefore, they will not sing much if at all, during the molting process. They may also quiet down some when they are busy assisting a female at her nest.

The Gloster Canary is fairly trouble-free, but it is not unusual for some crested birds to develop abnormal benign growths. Don't breed birds prone to the feather cysts, and ask your vet about safely removing the growths, but they are not cancer or a sign of disease, so don't worry unnecessarily either.

Many commercial cages sold for Gloster Canaries are too small. Take the time and trouble to find a cage that is at least 24”wide by 18” deep by 24” high. These birds cannot exercise by climbing. They need to fly, and the cage needs to give them space to do that. Placing the bird's cage fairly high should also help the bird's confidence. You need to provide adequate perches, of varying widths to allow the bird to change its grip and prevent wear on the feet. You can include toys like bells and swings. A mirror is a bad idea if it persuades a singing male that he has now won his mate and he needn't bother to sing so much. They also like food treats. A favorite foraging toy might be a millet spray, especially if you have soaked the spray for a few days in order to let it sprout.

Gloster Canaries, like all canaries, must be protected from mosquitoes, which can carry the deadly and disfiguring canary pox, in addition to other dangerous diseases. There is a vaccine for canary pox and if you live in an area where it's a reality that mosquitoes may get into your home from time to time, strongly consider asking your vet for this one-time vaccine.

The Gloster Canary, whether Corona or Consort, can thrive on a relatively easy-to-provide seed-based diet. The backbone of most Canary diets is a high quality canary seed mix formulated especially for canaries, with a high proportion of canary, rape, flax, linseed, sterilized hemp, thistle, and not too much millet. Some high end seed mixes also contain freeze-dried fruits and vegetable bits, and anise may give the mix a wonderful aroma.

You should regularly test the Gloster Canary's seed for freshness by soaking and sprouting the seed. If the seed doesn't sprout, it's too old and stale for your canary. You can also buy special seeds that are easy to sprout in the home. These so-called soaking seed blends may include sunflower, safflower, and wheat that would otherwise be too large or too difficult for a Canary to crack by itself, yet once sprouted, they will gain in vitamins and become soft, delicious treats that your bird will love.

However, seed alone just isn't enough, even for the adaptable Gloster Canary. Chopped fresh greens like unsprayed chickweed, dandelion greens, and oregano are highly recommended, but any healthy greens such as the flowering heads of broccoli or chopped fruit like apples, apricots, and so on, will add vitamins and flavor to the diet. You should also be able to find some pellets formulated especially for Canaries. Some people report that their Canaries first learned to eat their pellets after they sprinkled them with a little apple juice.

What about protein for the Gloster Canary? Many people make a classic eggfood which consists of a hard-boiled egg chopped up well, with about 1 teaspoon of brewer's yeast (NEVER baking yeast) stirred into the mix. Don't leave eggfood sitting around. Remove what's left in the bowl after a couple of hours. It's especially important to provide the eggfood to molting or breeding birds.

Written by Elaine Radford


wondeerful sound, fantastic range, sweet chatter, interactive birds


extreme weather change


potential dirt issues, United Glosters Breeders, smaller stature, wing flapping

Helpful Gloster Canary Review

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