Advert for Welham Norwich bird feed
Printer: Brookes, CE
Medium: Print on paper
Canaries became popular pets among the aristocracy during the 19th century. They were often presented as novelties at balls and other grand social occasions. Covers to the bird’s cages would be taken off as visitors arrived, ensuring that they were greeted with a chorus of birdsong.
The birds are named after the Canary Islands, their place of origin. The Romans called these islands the Dog Islands (as the inhabitants bred dogs), and the word canary is a corruption of the Latin ‘canis’, meaning dog.