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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, March 01, 2015

on the tame canary

The Tame Canary
The canary is easily tamed, and has been taught to perform many little tricks, indeed groups of them have been trained to act little plays, firing cannons and driving coaches. The canary shows a humane disposition, has been known to foster the young of other birds, to make friends with other pets, even cats; to show great affection for its master and to die of grief on the loss of its mate. Dr. Darwin tells of  "a canary bird which always fainted away when its cage was cleaned. Having desired to see the experiment," says Dr. Darwin, "the cage was taken from the ceiling, and the bottom drawn out. The bird began to tremble, and turned quite white about the root of the bill; he then opened his mouth as if for breath, and respired quickly; stood up straighter on his perch, hung his wing, spread his tail, closed his eyes, and appeared quite stiff for half an hour, till at length, with trembling and deep respirations, he came gradually to himself."

Poor little guy!  This anecdote comes from p. 277 of  Natural History in Anecdote: Illustrating the Nature, Habits, Manners and Customs of Animals, Birds, Fishes, Reptiles, Insects, Etc., Etc., Etc, Alfred Henry Miles, Ed. (Dodd, Mead, 1895).

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