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MELANIN IN THE PLUMAGE

OF CANARIES?

What is and means Melanin in

the Plumage of Canaries?

What about the different colours in the plumage of canaries so far could be detected, that they are formed by the presence or absence of dyes. In addition, the density of the dyes and also the place of the dyes can changed the colour in the canaries plumage. The fact is that melanin are the reason for the colouring of the canaries. Melanin are pigment dyes. By melanin arise a variety of colors in the plumage. The colouring through melanin are very complex biochemical processes in the bird body, but however, the reason must be a interaction between hormones, enzymes and amino acids. Scientific studies have already determined an abundance ofinformations about formation and deposit of melanin in feathers of many different kind of bird species, but however, just at the plumage of canaries, many questions remain unanswered because canary feathers were mostly ignored in the scientific studies.

We distinguish two types of

Melanin in the canary feather:

- EUMELANIN, which gives the typical back and flank striations for melanin canaries. Eumelanin is distributed down the middel of the canary feather and may have a black to brown colour. Characterstic features for canaries from the black and cinnamon series are the unbroken and for canaries from the the agate and isabel series are the broken back and flank striations (also called markings or pencil line) - PHAEOMELANIN is situated around the edge of the feather and may have a dark brown to pale beige colour Eumelanin and Phaemelanin can occur individually or together in the normal or diluted form.
Melanin representation* of the black series (Yellow black and Red black)

The colour of melanin mutations in

canaries are combinations between at

least 2 mutations. Thus the classical

canary mutations are combined one of

the ground colour also called

lipochrome colour (yellow, red, white)

with one of the classical melanin

mutations (i. e. Red + Bronze; Yellow +

Agate; White + Isabel ...).

The non-classical canary mutations are

combined with at least 3 mutations.

2 mutations are the same as described

before for classical canaries and a third

mutation in addition. (i.e. White+Agate+

Opal; Yellow + Agate + Eumo,

Red + Black + Opal)

Yellow Cinnamon 
Red Isabel
*Good melanin representations are very difficult to show from photos or windowings. To visit an exhibition or talks with experienced breeders as well as comparisons of exhibition birds are here more recommended.
White Agate