Backyard Birds

Roller Canaries aka German Roller Canary, Harz Mountain Roller Canary

The Roller Canary is a breed of song canary that was developed in the Harz Mountain region of Germany. It is considered a “song” canary, which means it is bred for singing, not appearance or unusual color.

Rollers are small birds which sing with their beak closed.

Their song is very soft and has the lowest volume of any canary breed. These charming little birds have been prized for centuries for their sweet singing. Not known to most, not only is the German Roller Canaries skilled in singing but also mimicry!

Male German Roller Canaries tend to sing more beautifully than female canaries. Males can be territorial, however, and should not be kept together in the same cage. Some people who particularly enjoy the song of the roller canaries, keep two males in different cages (never together) – as each one will try to “outstage” the competitor.

When showing German Roller Canaries, they are usually shown in “teams” of four birds, which enhances the full experience of their songs!

With proper care German Roller Canaries should live at least 10 years.

Canary Care and Housing

Breeding your Canary


Most German Roller Canaries are between four and a half and five inches in length. They are not bred for their size, color, or feathering; rather, they are bred for their songs!

This means that Roller Canaries can vary greatly in appearance. Breeders are constantly experimenting with new types. Most, however, have a rather flattened head and straight back.

The defining characteristic of the German Roller Canary is its song, which is produced with the beak closed. This gives it a lower timbre and less shrill sound than the songs of many birds.

It is the lower tone of the German Canary’s song that makes it so pleasing to the human ear. German Roller Canaries do have the ability to produce high-pitched tones.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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