Canary Conundrum - Profile Of A Yellow Songbird

Tips On How To Keep A Canary Happy And Singing

Widely known as a noxious gas detector used in the coal mines of the 1800s and early 1900s to warn miners of explosions, canaries are susceptible to respiratory problems. So if miners saw any signs of illness in the birds, they would leave the grounds instantly.

The canary is a bird that is native to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Small in built and in the finch family of birds, canaries sing beautifully and live up to 14 years with proper care. Not typically a companion bird and best admired from a distance, these birds make popular pets due to their timid and docile nature.

natural songbirds

Male Canaries are prolific singers. Their voice is one of their attraction methods to call females for mating. Female canaries chirp rather than sing.  The longest and sweetest songs come from the male canary when he has reached maturity at 6 months of age or more.

a sad canary does not sing

Proper housing for the canary is essential for keeping it happy and singing. Also, each canary should have its own cage, or the result could be deadly. Canaries are territorial and do not like to be housed together.

not all canaries are yellow

Canaries are well known for their beauty and varied colors such as the Red-Factor Canaries. The color of the red factor canary can vary from a light orange to a brick color all the way up to a fire engine red shade.

they are not social

While other finches in the bird family can be housed in pairs, canaries are best left as solitary birds. They can be territorial, so housing them together is unwise. While there are certain set-ups and arrangements that can allow for multiple birds to be housed together, a novice interested in a canary is best with one bird.

Similarly canaries do not have a need to socialise. A canary is not a bird to finger-tame or held as they can literally die of fright.


A good quality seed mixture suitable for canaries can be the mainstay of their diet. For variety, you may offer a pelleted diet from time-to-time, to be placed along side the seed mixture. For snacks, canaries eat fruits and selective vegetables such as apples, bananas, corn on the cob and raw spinach.

Fresh water should be readily available to your birds for drinking and bathing. Birds will not distinguish between these two functions so there is no need to separate the water sources. Just make sure that they have plenty of fresh water on hand at all times.

Provide cuttlefish as a source of calcium for your bird. It is also a good idea to supplement his diet with mineral supplements.

common illnesses

Canaries are susceptible to mite infection, namely: air-sac mites (which are found in the bird’s respiratory system), scaly mites (which show as scaly buildup around the bird’s beak, eyes and/or legs), feather mites and red mites (nocturnal mites that crawl out during the night and feed on the bird’s blood).

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