German Roller Canary

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
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fast facts

About German Roller Canary

4-5 inches
12 years
Bird Species
Various mutations & natural colors
Vocal, Singing, Melodic natural calls
Social, Fun, Friendly, Cuddly, Affectionate, Playful, Energetic
Comparable Breeds
Mexican Parrotlet, American Singer Canary
German Roller Canary General Info

German Roller Canary, also known as just Roller Canary or the Hartz Mountain Roller, has been sought-after for more than two hundred years. Being one of the oldest and best known canary breeds, they are prized for their beautiful song and subtle, elegant looks. It also has a lot of lovable, docile personality traits, which makes them easy to fall in love with. But their strongest aspect is the song – for which they are bred. Their peculiar, rolling style of melodious singing earned them the nickname – Roller Canary.

Throughout history, these small birds were used alongside wild species to discover the presence of poisonous carbon monoxide in German mines. Luckily, this practice is long gone.

Native Region/Natural Habitat

This variety of canaries, which themselves once came from the distant Canaries, Madeira and Azores islands, were bred in the 19th century with purpose by the traders in the Harz mountains of Germany. It took a lot of patience and careful breeding methods to finally create a unique, special breed that stood apart with its melodic singing and looks. Since then, they became a sensation around most of Europe and later throughout the rest of the world. Today, German Roller Canary is one of the most popular pet choices, due to their lovely personality and ease of care.

Overall Description

This peculiar breed places a lot of importance on singing qualities and because of this, their physical appearance can vary. But it usually follows set proportions and never differs mostly than the nominate species of canaries and finches. The adults reach an average length between 4 and 5 inches (11 and 14 centimeters). A few distinct features, like the flat head, slender figure and a straight back, are present and distinct for these canaries. With their small size, these birds won’t require a lot of space and will be content with a usual canary cage. However, with their playful and energetic behavior, they will need plenty of toys and exercise.

Speech and Sounds

One of the biggest points of pride for German Roller Canary and the big reason behind their popularity is their beautiful singing. This refined and expert singing is a result of a specific breeding. Harz Rollers gained the very best traits of its parental breeds. Many owners pick them precisely for their pleasing song. These canaries will develop the full range of singing at around four weeks of age, and most of the singing is reserved for the males. They develop a full and intricate song full of sweeping and rolling melodies. This cheerful and calming sound is loved by so many people around the world.


There are several different colors reserved for these small birds. And all of them are equally lovely and vibrant! Although they lack any exotic patterns and flashy combinations, their simplicity is still charming and refreshing. Some of the colors are yellow, green, and anything in between. German Roller Canary also has a particularly fine plumage which gives it a special shine and another beautiful aspect to their appearance.

Male birds are prized for their singing qualities. You will be surprised at the range and fullness of their intricate song.

Care and Feeding

The diet of the German Roller Canary is similar to that of other members of the species. Luckily, this means that food for your new pet is easily acquired in every pet store. These are the usual canary seed mixes. A cuttlebone is a good option for a boost of essential vitamins and calcium. As a part of their care, you must minimize strong drafts and avoid overly cool environments. Taking care of your pet canary will result in a strong and happy bird that can live for around 12 years on average.

Health and Common Conditions

Don’t be fooled by their appearance – even though they are small, these canaries are quite hardy and durable, adapting easily to common conditions. Good hygiene is a priority. Canaries usually love splashing around, so offer them regular bathing dishes and don’t neglect their cleanliness. You will be surprised at how easy it is to keep these birds happy and content. Just don’t forget to socialize with your pet bird!

Every pet bird will enjoy and depend on your company and playtime. So make sure to devote some time to this.

Personality & Behavior

Lively and energetic, the German Roller Canary will charm any owner. Besides being impressed by their delightful song and elegant looks, you will surely love their friendly personality. These tiny birds have a special interest for toys and perches– watching them play around is a real treat. In all honesty, the versatile and lovable German Roller Canary can be a perfect pet to almost anyone. You’d be hard pressed to find a person that isn’t delighted by these tiny birds. Their minimal care needs and friendly personalities make them perfect pets for children, singles, and seniors.

Photo credit: Gualberto Becerra/Shutterstock; Hermansyah28/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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