Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred bird myself,
Rescue / shelter organization,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted May 13, 2015
Over the years, working with my families animal rescue, I have worked with dozens of songbirds, including some good number of canaries. Songbirds in general are a good choice for the beginning bird owner or someone who wants a pet but doesn't have a great deal of time.
The canary is a lovely bird; they are very pretty, with bright attractive coloration. But it is the canary song that really makes them so popular; their song has an almost universal appeal, and they are not an overly loud bird, so disturbances are rare. I've always felt that canaries are great for people who would like a pretty background sound and company in a room they spend a great deal of time; I have kept canaries in my office, for example (though now I have doves, as I enjoy the cooing.)
I have had very little luck training canaries. I have met canaries that take to step up training fairly well, but in my experience this is not a bird for extensive handling. I have also seen very nice aviaries where canaries are allowed free flight, which is delightful, but requires a commitment of space. This is a good pet for families, but children should not be allowed to handle them, as they are very flighty and fragile.
Canaries are, however, very low maintenance. My recommendation here would be to have at least two so that they have constant companionship, as they are social birds. But, the diet is simple to provide and cleanup is very easy, and these small birds do not require a huge amount of space (though, with birds, I always say the bigger the habitat the better.) This is a great bird for people on the go; they offer a lovely song and some companionship, but don't need a massive investment of time.
The canary, in short, is a great starter bird, and a nice, easy addition to your household. I like them in the office or kitchen, especially!