Above: canary theft victim Mark Denton (left) with foreign bird keeper Ron Chamberlain at the 2018 New Chiltern Inter Club open show. Mr Denton’s stolen birds are either 2020 NCA closed-ringed with the code ‘NCA 266’ or IOA ‘291’ closed-ringed

A REWARD HAS been offered for the safe return of 110 birds that were stolen in a specialist hit on a canary birdroom.

On the night of January 22, thieves walked into the garden of High Wycombe CBS secretary Mark Denton and, using two of his cages and a hospital cage, escaped with harlequin, cobalt, red black, red mosaic and yellow mosaic coloured canaries, crest canaries and Fifes.

“This is a woeful tale of putting in the security and then due to complacency, cost and effort not maintaining it,” said Mr Denton of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

“I put in steel fencing and powered iron gates but then the electrics failed, and I didn’t get the repair person in. I put in multiple CCTV cameras to a recording unit and then the recording unit failed and I didn’t replace it. I had multiple PIR flood lights, but eventually the bulbs or PIR units failed and I didn’t replace them.

“Over a decade of nothing happening down in our dead-end street, I grew complacent and didn’t spend the time and money required for security.”

Only last summer did Mr Denton move his exhibition birds from inside his house to an outbuilding in the garden.

“Perhaps I only learn the hard way,” he said. “The day comes when you go to the outbuilding and your birds have been cleaned out – more than 100 birds, representing years of dedication to them. You just stop, go cold, and you know you could have done more.”

Members of both High Wycombe CBS and South Bucks Canary Breeders Association, of which Mr Denton is involved with, have offered replacement birds.

Mr Denton said: “It’s going to take me time to think just what I’m going to do. I don’t want to go through this again.” 

Black/reds: about 30 missing. Originally used as feeders for Mr Denton’s crests until he switched to yellow mosaics. Cobalts: about 10 missing. Fifes: about 20 whites and yellows missing. Originally belonged to Mark’s daughter. Harlequins: about 10 missing. ‘On the agenda this year was to study the standard further.’ Red mosaics: about 10 missing.
‘I have always had a soft spot for red mosaics. I bought a sound pair at the World Show from an Italian breeder and it greatly improved my birds.’
Yellow mosaics: about 20 missing.


More on the stolen crests

MARK Denton said: “The late Brian Hogg got me into crests. He gained me a contact, set up a meeting in Yorkshire and split the cost of a small stud. I started going to World Shows, added some birds from Italy and bought a really nice cock crest from a Turkish breeder.

“Then Ian Wright helped me out with some nice birds. I was just returning to my ambition of having blue-crested whites.” 


Any knowledge or sales of such birds from this theft? Please email: mark@dentonsnape.com or call Mick Stone on 07973 785 863.