Jon Thomas

,
Jon Thomas

If you are looking for a bird to watch and listen to, rather than to cuddle with, a canary is the bird for you. Available in different colors depending on species, canaries can be yellow, orange, red, white, and with a variety of feather patterns.

 

As members of the passerine (songbird) family, canaries are known for their beautiful, operatic songs —specifically the males after six months of age. They are bred to produce specific songs, in fact, such as the American singer, the German roller, and others. As males sing to compete for females during breeding season (typically the springtime, in response to light cycle changes), canaries can be quite territorial and should be caged individually or they may fight. A male does not need to be in sight of a female to sing and may even sing more actively when housed in a cage nearby another male.

 

When cared for properly, canaries can live 5-10 years. They should be fed fresh water daily, with a commercially manufactured pelleted food for canaries, a small amount of finely minced produce, and a limited amount of seed. If stressed by malnourishment or overcrowding, canaries may develop both respiratory tract mites, which causes breathing difficulty, and scaly face and leg mites, which causes crusty skin on the feet and face. They should see a veterinarian for treatment if any of these signs are noted.