Acquired: Pet store
Posted Mar 02, 2015
Angel was a beautiful canary. Being an albino he had completely white feathers and red eyes and his song was absolutely beautiful. However, he had a taste for house plants and whenever he was allowed free flight around the house, my mother would discover little chew marks on various leaves and flowers. This was frightening for my family, because my mother would keep poinsettias and other poisonous blooming plants in the house. Out of fear for Angel we had to give away or throw out many of my mothers indoor garden.
Because of his albino condition, his health bills were extremely high. For birds in itself vet appointments usually cost hundreds, but Angel would easily peak his health bills at almost a thousand. We were constantly on the lookout for health problems. From a chick Angel had a hear murmur. We were told that he likely wouldn't survive more then two years. This was a frightening thing because there was nothing we could do to care for him better or medicine to give or activity to limit. As the vet put it, his heart murmur was simply a condition and Angel would limit himself. Because he was albino, he was prone to eye conditions (ending in having to use eye drops) and he required vitamin additives to all his water. His flight feathers also required constant surveillance as he kept growing ingrown feathers (feather cysts). If they were not found in time he would have small difficulties in flying and we were in constant fear that he would be rendered flightless. He had surgical removal of his ingrown feathers over 20 times because we could not prevent their growth. According to the vet, this condition is apparently very common in albino canaries.
Luckily his food diet is easily obtainable and cheap pet store seeds. The vet could give no specific diet or dietary needs and felt no need to subscribe anything different from what a normal canary would eat.
Canaries are definitely birds who simply want beauty in song and appearance for companionship. Do not take it upon yourself to flight train a canary unless you have an abundance of patience. As a child I had all the time in the world to train Angel until he would come land on my hand. Usually I would stand for an hour with my hand outstretched until his natural curiosity and fluttering tired him and he landed on me. The more we did this, the faster he would come land on my hand, arms or shoulder until simply stretching out my hand would bid him come.
Cleaning up after Angel was actually very easy. To cut down on the smell we used pet potty training pads instead of newspaper to line the bottom of his cage. Every week we would let him fly freely around the house while we scrubbed the cage clean, replaced the pads and refilled his vitamin-water and seeds.
Angel lived to be six years old with love and care despite his fragile health. It took a lot of patience and love to care for him and a lot of veterinary bills. But I still remember him fondly as my first pet.