Brief History of American Singers in the West
by Ginger Wolnik

First published in the Pacific American Singer newsletter, volume 1, number 1, January 1994.

(The following information is based on conversations and is certainly not definitive. Please send corrections or additions to the secretary/newsletter editor.)

There have probably been canaries that were called American Singers on the West Coast as long as there have been American Singers. Some people brought their pet birds with them when they moved here. Others have mail-ordered birds from Eastern and Midwest breeders. Many canary fanciers have started their own new strain by crossing Rollers with Borders. Regardless of the source, the song of their offspring has diverged from the song that has continued to evolve back East. This undoubtedly happens even when the birds are bred randomly. But, the common tendency is to select for appearance, so the song of most strains has probably changed even more.

In 1988, the National Cage Bird Show was held in San Diego. There was an American Singer section which provided many people with their first opportunity to hear what these birds are supposed to sound like. Some of the exhibitors brought birds to sell and established canary fanciers starting taking the breed seriously.

In 1991, Don Stapleton provided a demonstration of American Singers at the All American Canary Fanciers show in Lawndale, California. This was expanded in 1992 to an unsanctioned show. There was no judge, but four exhibitors participated.

In 1993, an unsanctioned show was hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Canary and Exotic Bird Club. Roller breeder Larry Waugh volunteered to judge the show by American Singer methods. The success of that show has led to the formation of this chapter.

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