New converts to old breeds
Cage & Aviary Birds|December 24, 2019
Old and rare canaries have a reputation for adding fresh interest and challenge to the hobby. PETE HOOK and NICK JOY agree, and explain the birds’ charm to Dave Brown
Dave Brown

PETE HOOK has been a birdkeeper for more than 20 years and enjoyed much success breeding and exhibiting zebra finches. Here’s how the O&R bug bit him: “A trip to the World Show led me on the path to keeping canaries. I was drawn to a cage with a small frill canary. Its diminutive size and neat frilling were really attractive and led me to an impromptu purchase of about eight pairs of Fiorino canaries. I have since added other frills: Padovans, north Dutch and melados and also the old variety of crested canaries. All have individual characteristics that make them fascinating birds to keep.

I have found the frill fancy to be very welcoming, with the offer of advice and birds being a great help when you’re starting up in something different. The show side is competitive and with the possibility of showing abroad means the size of the frill fancy is enormous. But most importantly the shows have been a great day out, chatting with like-minded people.

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