This film is part of Free

Lle Triga’r Caneri

From Tenerife to Treorchy: Jack Bellamy’s tribute to the canary, the little yellow songster that saved so many miners’ lives.

Documentary 1989 46 mins


From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Jack Bellamy's tribute to the canary, showing its habitat in Tenerife (one of the Canary Islands) and demonstrating its use underground – since 1911 - in the collieries. Its behaviour when affected by gas gave the miners early warning of danger and thus saved countless lives. In 1989 when this film was produced, the little bird was being superceded by electronic, gas-detecting meters but its song ensures that it will retain its status as the world’s favourite pet bird.