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  • Great 1st Family Bird

  • Generally to be seen not handled

  • Require a nice size cage

  • Do not talk

  • Social but not cuddlers

  • Do not require large amounts of toys or socialization

  • Enjoys the bath

  • Quiet and perfect for apartments

  • Lower maintenance overall


The most recognized songbird in the world is the canary. These wonderful singers can be traced back 400 years to the wild green canaries of West Africa. Males are the singers and sing to 'court' a female. These lovely songbirds need roomy cages out of drafts in well lighted areas. Their needs are minimal and with good nutrition, a clean environment and plenty of love and attention from their families they will fill your home with joy and song.


Canaries are actually members of the finch family and are native to the Canary, Azores, and Madeira Islands (Macaronesia). The wild canary is greenish yellow over most of their body with yellow underparts while the domestic canary comes in an array of bright colors including orange, white, red, and yellow. They've been bred as pets since the 17th century where they became popular in Europe.


Canaries are often purchased as pets for their singing abilities. Therefore, anyone looking for a pet canary for this reason must remember that males sing better than females and molting canaries may not sing much at all.


A pet canary should never have their wings clipped and should be able to fly in their cage for exercise. Remember that a long cage (one that is at least 24 inches long) is better than a tall narrow one (the height is not all that important) and wire cages are easier to clean than wood cages.


Wood perches of varying diameters (3/8 to 3/4 inches) should be placed around the cage to provide places for your canary to rest and exercise their feet. Some canary keepers alter smooth round perches by scraping them with a saw blade or utility knife, just enough make the surface slightly irregular. This makes them easier to grip and the variety may make the perches more comfortable for the canary's feet. Do not use sandpaper perch covers as they can cause harm to your canary's feet.


Canaries are pretty hardy and can be kept at room temperature but be sure to keep the cage away from drafts, air conditioners, and windows that receive direct sunlight (the cage and canary can get overheated). Cover the cage at night at the time the sun goes down (unless you live in an area with extremely long nights or days such as the far north). Canaries need their rest and will do best if given a light/dark cycle that approximates natural changes. Keeping them up late with artificial light is not healthy for them and will cause them to be stressed.


Provide toys but place them in the cage in such a way so they do not obstruct the flight space. Your canary might enjoy swings, mirrors, bells, and hanging wooden or acrylic toys. Fresh water should be available at all times. In addition to their regular water supply, a shallow dish of water or a special bath bought at the pet store should be provided at least three to four times a week for bathing.

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