27 October 1906: Billed as the ‘most important exhibition of cage birds in the kingdom,’ Hulme Town Hall allows breeders to show 1,500 birds

Just now the Hulme Town Hall is filled with the twittering of many canaries. It is the show of the Manchester and Northern Counties Ornithological Society, the most important exhibition of cage birds in the kingdom. To the amateur it is astonishing to find to what an extent the breeding of canaries is carried. There are some dozens of distinct varieties, not to speak of the “mules” or cross-breeds between canaries and other kinds of birds.

One walks down long lanes lined on either side by little cages, each containing a small cheery yellow, green, or cinnamon coloured bird. There are more than 1,500 birds, whose niceties of tint and form are giving pleasure to the fanciers. The Norwich canaries are perhaps the most excellent as they are certainly the most numerous exhibits. The Norwich canary is known by his rich reddish-yellow breast. The aim of the fancier is to get as “warm” a colour as possible. Then there is the Lancashire canary, the “Lancashire coppy,” much affected in Rochdale and Oldham and thereabouts. This is the bird of a beautiful pure yellow, with a little round crest like a cap. The spangled lizard canary is a pretty fellow, too, with his neat, trim body and gold-coloured patch on the top of his head. Some lovers of canaries prefer the cinnamon breed, and they are certainly delightful creatures in their deep mellow coat.

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Source: Guardian Environment