Acquired: Pet store
Posted May 08, 2013
I've had my share of birds growing up. My grandmother loved birds, and she had two similar canaries that I would watch and listen to whenever I was over at her house. Fun little creatures, though not terribly interactive.
My mom eventually took a cue from grandma and got her own American Singer, an energetic little bleater named Boyd. (We're bad with names...) Boyd was a green-and-yellow puffball who spent most of the day belting out happy tunes to anyone who might be nearby. We usually kept him in the living room, where he had a lot of sun, though we'd bring him downstairs later in the day to 'watch TV' with the rest of the family.
Boyd was, on the whole, a good pet. Though you couldn't handle him - he would dart away from any hands in his cage as though they were on fire - he was fun to watch, and he had a great voice. The low cost of maintaining a canary also worked in his favour, and cleaning his cage usually proved to be the most laborious chore. We went through many newspaper sections with Boyd.
The biggest problem with any song bird is that they don't know when to clamp their beaks. If you get annoyed by an incessant racket easily, American Singers are not for you. They will chatter away for much of the day, and Boyd at least was an early riser. Sleeping in on the weekend is less of an option. Fortunately, it was easy to trick Boyd into going to sleep by draping a blanket over his cage, but that ruse only works for so long.
Overall, a good pet. Not so great if your children want to handle the bird, as canaries will have none of it and can easily get stressed out, but otherwise a lot of fun. Adopt a 'look don't touch' policy and your canary will enjoy a long life.