This is a red agate mosaic canary hen. In the agate mutation, all brown is suppressed, so that only the lipochrome, or ground colour, and shades of black or grey reach expression in the bird's feathers.

      The Agate mutation is inherited through a gender-linked mutation - an agate hen gets her colour solely from her father, while a male agate canary must receive the mutation from both his parents, before he can show it visually.

      I have always admired the agate canaries, and find their subtle silvery colouring and the delicate black pencillings of their striations to be very attractive.

Mosaic refers to the fact that this hen also shows the third feather mutation, known as the dimorhpic, or mosaic feather. It is a recessive mutation, in which the feather is very broad, and the lipochrome colour is restricted to a small area in the center of the feather.

One interesting fact about this mutation is that it is often possible to discern the gender of a dimorphic canary based on its visual appearance. A male mosaic canary will display a distinctive blaze of colour around the eyes, almost like the mask seen on a goldfinch, while the hen shows little to no facial colour, as seen here.

Dimorphic Agate Canary Hen

Dimorphic Agate Canary Hen

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Last update June 6, 2013.

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