The islands were named after dogs, not birds
The chirpy canary bird does come from the Canary Islands.
But, the name actually originated from the Latin word for dogs – canaria. Most likely, the name developed from the resident sea lions on the island, which the Romans called sea dogs.
Originally only the rich owned canary birds
The domestic canary comes from a songbird species which originated in the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.
They were brought to Europe by Spanish sailors and have been bred for their beautiful voices since the 17th century. Only the males sing, so they were in short supply and very expensive, meaning originally only the rich could afford them.
The islands are closer to Africa than Spain
Many people believe the Canary Islands must be close to Spain as they are politically part of it – but are surprised when they find out the islands are actually closer to Africa.
Fuerteventura is the closest to Africa, just 100km from the coast of Morocco while Lanzarote is the closest to Spain – but still at least 1,000km away!
This is why the islands boast such a great climate all year round.