The canary (Serinus canaria) is one of the most popular pet birds (second only to the budgie). Canaries are known for their good nature, attractive plumage, and remarkable singing ability. Canaries originate from the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. The Portuguese introduced them to Europe in the 15th Century. Numerous varieties are bred in captivity. Some of these birds are bred for their song, while others are bred for their conformation, plumage, and color.
The canary is relatively easy to care for. It is an appropriate pet to teach children (as long as they are supervised) about the essentials of caring for a pet. Canaries are also popular as companion pets in retirement homes and hospitals.
"It is an appropriate pet to teach children (as long as they are supervised) about the essentials of caring for a pet."
Male canaries are generally the better singers. Many people are surprised to find that the bird they thought was male turns out to be female if she sings little or not at all. If you want a canary specifically for its singing ability, make sure you hear it sing before purchase. An avian veterinarian can perform a blood test to determine the sex of your canary. Keep in mind that a canary that is stressed, molting, in poor health, or in a new environment may not sing.
Purchasing a Canary
Canaries may be obtained from pet stores, reputable breeders, and rescue organizations.
Hand-raised babies often make better pets since they have been socialized to interact with humans. Young birds are easier to tame and adapt readily to new environments and situations. New birds should be exposed to different events (young and mature people, males and females, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) early in life to help them be calmer and better adjusted. Lively, alert birds that are not easily frightened are more likely to be healthy.
Soon after purchasing a bird, have it examined by a veterinarian experienced with birds.
"Veterinary check-ups help prevent disease and aid in maintaining a long-lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird."
Canaries require regular, routine veterinary health check-ups. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming, and laboratory tests as needed. While canaries require regular nail trimming, healthy canaries should not need beak trims. Most veterinarians do not advocate wing trimming for canaries as they might for parrots. During semi-annual check-ups, your veterinarian can identify and address any health, nutritional, and maintenance concerns. Veterinary check-ups help prevent disease and aid in maintaining a long-lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.