Acquired: Pet store
Posted Aug 17, 2015
Our canaries were the first experience I had with songbirds. Their bright yellow color and melodious songs could brighten up even the most dreary February day. Having said that, however, I do have some tips for people that would like to provide these wonderful little birds a loving home.
Cage size seems to be fairly important, at least in my experience. My canaries were housed in a beautiful cylindrical cage that measured approximately 14 to 16 inches across and perhaps a little over 2 feet in height. Experience showed that this was perhaps a tiny bit on the small side for two canaries, and a larger cage would have stressed the birds a little less. Per the recommendation of the people in a local pet store, we purchased a male and a female canary. The thought was that this would provide incentive to the male to keep him singing. That was mostly true, but it seemed there was always just a very slight amount of tension in the cage which resulted in the mail and female birds singing less than would have been expected. There also seemed to be an occasional marital problem between the birds which resulted in a short-lived physical confrontation. It is my thought that a cage that is as large as would be appropriate for the room size would have solved some of the issues. Like many adults, I think I birds needed to be able to get away from each other occasionally and even though the cage was the recommended size, a larger one probably would have been better.
The female birds seem to take very good care of herself and washed at least once or twice a day in the bathing dish. The male apparently felt no such responsibility for bathing, and would attempt to stretch baths out to no more than once a week. I know many little boys that would do the same thing if you would let them. All of the canary manuals that I read said that you could clean the birds gently in the sink. There really needs to be additional details added to that. I'm quite sure that they meant to say is a you can hold them gently in one hand while just barely squirting them with the squirter attachment that comes with most sinks. I am absolutely positive that what they did not mean was to hold them under a stream of warm water. Whoops, my bad. The male did survive that, but it was very, very apparent that he did not enjoy the experience and wanted very little to do with me thereafter. I can't blame him.
The only other piece of good advice that I have is to ensure there is some barrier within the cage which prevents their food from being strewn all over the room. They do enjoy eating and tossing seeds about, and that will make quite a mess on the rug.
Despite a few setbacks, I would whole heartedly recommend canaries as a pet with the proviso that you do not have expectations that they will one day become your snugly playmates.