The Spanish Timbrado

  • August 22, 2016

When the Spaniards conquered the Canary Isles in 1478, they found there, besides other precious things, the wild canary bird. Very soon the canary became a considerable object of trade. The Spaniards undertook to keep it entirely for themselves for nearly a century by exporting only the male birds and very wisely holding back the female ones. By the middle of the 16thcentury this privilege was broken. A Spanish trading vessel was driven ashore on the Italian coast. There had been canaries on board the ship, which escaped and settled on the Isle of Elba. As the climate was very favorable the birds propagated themselves rapidly. Catching these birds, the Italians found a new source of revenue.

The Spaniards continue to breed canaries in large numbers and one of their most popular breeds is the Spanish Timbrado, a canary that is bred for its song and one that is probably the closest to the original wild canary that can now be found.