German Roller Canary


The German roller canary, also known as the roller canary as well as the Hartz Mountain roller canary, is one of the oldest and best-known song canaries. It is bred solely for its song rather than for physical appearance or color. When a song standard emerged in 1922, the birds were trained to sing well-defined passages or type segments, called tours. Each tour is delivered in a continuously rolling manner, thus the name of these birds being “roller.”

The roller canary is bred solely for its song without concern for size, color or feathering; therefore, they can vary greatly in their appearance. Generally it has a rather flat head, straight back and good feather quality. The song of the roller canary is distinct and melodic, less shrill and choppy than the songs of other canaries. It sings with its beak closed, giving it a lower timbre that makes it so pleasing to the human ear. Canaries of both sexes can begin to sing a weak song as early as 4 weeks of age, but females usually don’t sing after about 6 months of age and won’t have the full long song of a male.

Behavior / Health Concerns

The roller canary does well in either cages or aviaries. It is on the timid side and should not be housed together with parakeets, lovebirds or other hookbills that tend to be more aggressive. In a spacious aviary, canaries can generally be housed with other canaries, finches and other hardbills. They like to bathe daily and should be given water to do so. Their environment should not be wet, cool or drafty, and if they are given space to sunbathe, they should also have a shaded area to protect from too much sun. Keep perches clean to avoid any foot problems.

Breed Details

Scientific Name:
Native Region:
4.5 to 5 inches
Life Expectancy:
Up to 10 years
Noise Level:
Quiet, with a beautiful song
Talk / Trick Ability:
This bird is quite good at mimicry.