These Songbirds are a Top Choice for Bird Owners

Canaries have perhaps the sweetest song of any creature on Earth. These small, puffy birds are welcome tenants at any home, whether you live in a house or an apartment. It will take your canary some time to polish his voice — these birds, like people, get better with practice. 

Canaries hail from the Canary Islands, which makes sense! But what most people don’t know is that the islands were not named after the birds. The islands were named by Roman conquerors, who witnessed the packs of wild dogs that roamed the area. The birds were named after the islands many centuries later. 

Where you keep your canary is a crucial part of his care. Canaries are very good at taking flight, even in small areas, Kinsler says. A larger-diameter “flight” cage will allow the canary to spread its wings a bit more. Make sure to place parallel perches in the cage to help the bird move naturally. Bar spacing should be no more than a half-inch for small canaries, up to 5/8 inch for larger birds. 
Orange canary
  • Song canaries: These are, of course, the most famous of the canaries. Most are yellow, green or variegated. The best known song canaries are Rollers, Waterslagers, American singers and Timbrados.
  • Type canaries: Type canaries are known for their shape, stance or other physical characteristics. Some of the most popular are the Fife, Border and Gloster canaries.
  • Color canaries: These birds are known for the color of their feathers, and range from the yellow-and-green colors seen in song canaries to more unusual colors like pink and silver.
Where you keep your canary is a crucial part of his care.
Gloucester canary

Canaries are extremely sensitive to trace gases and other toxins. Never use air fresheners, rug deodorizers or perfumes in the vicinity of your canary’s cage. Your kitchen is not a good place to keep your canary’s cage for precisely this reason. Smoke and fumes from cooking can make your bird ill.

It is very important to note that all Teflon products (including kitchen pans and accessories, and beauty tools) must be removed from the house before a canary takes up residence. Teflon is deadly toxic to birds. Once you use a Teflon product, the particles become airborne and then become rapidly deadly to your pet canary. Please seek your veterinarian's advice about which kitchen and/or beauty tools you can purchase to replace those with Teflon.

If you bird does become ill, his body language will tell you so. Kinsler advises to watch for these signs:

  • Puffed up feathers
  • Motionless/inactive behavior
  • Watery/puffy/red eyes
  • Sneezing or shivering
  • Pronounced keel or breast bone

Canaries make a wonderful pet when cared for properly. Their song alone is enough to brighten any household. If you take care to give your canary what it needs, he will provide you with his beautiful song for 8-10 years!

If you liked this article and are interested in learning more about birds, you may enjoy reading about avian care.