The canary chicks
The canary chicks

Heritage centre gets in a flap over its new arrivals

Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston is celebrating the happy hatchings of their lively canaries.

The centre kept canaries as part of their Shale Oil Story– in the past, the birds were often kept by shale miners with the specialised role of detecting dangerous gasses underground.

At the centre, the birds appeared happy in their spacious cage but, to the dismay of their keepers, never tried to build nests, or show a great deal affection for each other, causing concern for their wellbeing.

It was decided that the birds would thrive in a sunnier, airier home that would allow them to fly around, simulating a more natural environment.

Many visitors were left disappointed when the canaries were moved from their museum cage to a new, custom-made outdoor aviary in the farm area of Almond Valley.

The canary chicks

However, the birds showed signs of approval and began nesting at the first signs of spring, with one batch of chicks already hatched, there are several more nests of eggs currently being brooded.

The staff believe that the birds are much happier in their new homes, claiming that they have benefited from the fresh air and even some evening jazz music.

Farm manager Carol Burke said: ‘I can’t believe after all this time, we finally have some gorgeous canary chicks.

‘The chicks are little fluffy balls of colour and are so beautiful.

‘The canaries obviously love the fresh air in their feathers or maybe it was the smooth jazz I sometimes leave on the radio in the evening! Whatever helped them breed, we’re all delighted.’

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