Canaries of Elba Island: one of the legends of the island


How many of you have a canary in their house or have admired it flying? Have you ever wondered where they come from and how they arrived in Italy?

Between the legends of Elba Island, one of the sweetest has the canaries as protagonists. The story tells that in 1600, Spain was the only nation to trade this kind of birds.

The astuteness of the merchants consisted in selling just male canaries, so that no one can let them procreate. Females were killed, so they can’t confuse the ones to sell. When someone asked why they sold only male canaries, they replied that they had a more pleasing call.

The legends about canaries of Elba Island tell that a day, a merchant vessel drowned in Elba Island. Numerous flock of canaries went out and they found the same mild climate of Canaries, so they nested in the vegetation. Also nowadays you can see and hear them along the trekking paths.

As every legend, also this one of Elba Island about canaries has a grain of truth. We could never know if the beautiful yellow birds with a pleasing chant really arrived in Italy from a merchant vessel or no.


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