Serinus Canaria - The Canary: a mainly African finch with a melodious song, typically having yellowish-green plumage.
The Canary was brought to Europe by Spanish sailors and originally bred in captivity. Viewings of the singing male species were sparse during the early years of existence, as were victories for a Norwich City side with a distinctively European flavour at the beginning of the season.
Six games in and they were caged just above the relegation zone. Defeats to West Brom, Sheffield United and Leeds before a draw at their arch rivals. The Canaries had not yet learnt how to fly but were in danger of being left behind. James Maddison had already fled the nest.
On 15th September, they finally found their wings. A narrow victory against Middlesbrough set Norwich on their way to four successive victories, all by a single goal.
Spreading their wings
Insula Canaria - Gran Canaria: "island of dogs"
Now starting to sing, Norwich were beginning to find their tune. Manager Daniel Farke the conductor, midfielders Emiliano Buendia, Onel Hernández and Marco Stiepermann pulling the strings, league top goalscorer Teemu Pukki reaching the high notes.
But it was on 3rd November that they developed their bite with a dogged determination to mount an unlikely promotion challenge. Four goals at Sheffield Wednesday before repeating the feat against Millwall and Swansea in the next two games.
As January ticked into February, the Canaries glided above the rest. A draw against Sheffield United before victory at Leeds thanks to a Mario Vrancic double - another feather in this beautiful bird.
Tensions boiled over on the touchline in their next game, a local derby against Ipswich. But they came through the test, albeit before slipping up against Preston, but then went on a 12-game undefeated streak. And they are still flying...
Soaring above the rest
For centuries, the canary was used to detect carbon monoxide in coal mines. For several weeks, it looked as though Farke had the poisoned chalice at Carrow Road, favourite for the sack when in the depths of the Championship mine.
Yeh these birds were fashionable for Spanish and English kings and the style of play showcased since those opening weeks have been fit only for royalty. Free-flowing, fast-paced football, the Norwich way is brightly ambitious to match the colour of their kits. A popular bird that continues to play an addictive tune.
The canary had an expensive start to European life, affordable only to the rich, distant to the side they share their name with. Pukki, goalkeeper Tim Krul, defensive lynchpin Christoph Zimmermann and anchorman Tom Trybull arrived on free transfers; teenage Championship Team of the Season stars Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis promoted from the academy; Vrancic and Kenny McLean less than £700,000. What price their services now?
Two flights left, just one point required. The Canaries have almost reached the Promised Land. Blackburn Rovers, fresh from four wins on the bounce, are the first side looking to cloud the finish line...
(Definitions from Dictionary Online)