Species group: Canaries
Other common names: Crest-bred Canary
Scientific name: Serinus canaria domesticus
The Crested Canary is one of the oldest of the type canaries, that is, canaries that are bred to conform to a certain look instead of a special song. Birds that express the beautiful crest are called Crested Canaries, while birds that carry the gene for the crest but don't have a crest themselves, are more properly called the Crest-bred Canary. To produce strong babies, if one parent is a Crested Canary, the other parent should always be a smooth-headed Crest-bred Canary. There are many other varieties of crested canaries available, so ask your breeder for the full name of the bird you have purchased.
It isn't rare for people to call any canary with a crest that isn't a show canary a Crested Canary. These canaries make great pets that look beautiful and sing well, but they might not be eligible to participate in a show. If you're a competitive person looking to exhibit your bird, choose carefully.
True Crested Canaries tend to be quite large on average, compared to their close relative, the Gloster Canary.Sometime around 1800, English breeders developed this spectacular bird that proved to be a reliable breeder that could be easily developed into its own “type.” Of course tireless breeders continued to work, using the true Crested Canary as a starter for the ultimate development of the smaller but wildly popular Gloster Canary, which also has a well-shaped crest.
The true show quality Crested Canary is a larger, somewhat stocky canary. But many pet quality Crested Canaries may be smaller. As long as they're healthy birds, that's fine. Crest-bred Canaries won't have the crest but when they are paired with a crested mate, they will be able to produce healthy babies-- some of them with fine crests.
18 - 20 grams (0.6 - 0.7 oz.)
14 centimeters (5.5 in.)
8 - 12 years
Behavior / temperament:
Even though the Crested Canary is a “type” canary bred for looks and not song, a single male kept as a pet will sing – and often they'll sing very loudly and quite well. To give your pet the best chance of developing a great voice, make sure to play high quality canary song recordings to your male from the very beginning. Male canaries sing from exuberance and an excess of testosterone, as well as to claim territory and to attract females. Therefore, they will not sing much if at all, during the molting process. They may also quiet down some when they are busy assisting a female at her nest.
The Crested Canary is usually trouble-free, but it is not unusual for some birds to develop abnormal benign growths. Don't breed these birds, and ask your vet about safely removing the feather cysts, but they are not cancer or a sign of disease, so don't worry unnecessarily either.
Many commercial cages sold for Crested Canaries are too small. Take the time and trouble to find a cage that is at least 24”wide by 18” deep by 24” high. These birds cannot exercise by climbing. They need to fly, and the cage needs to give them space to do that. Placing the bird's cage fairly high should also help the bird's confidence. You need to provide adequate perches, of varying widths to allow the bird to change its grip and prevent wear on the feet. You can include toys like bells and swings. A mirror is a bad idea if it persuades a singing male that he has now won his mate and he needn't bother to sing so much. They also like food treats. A favorite foraging toy might be a millet spray, especially if you have soaked the spray for a few days in order to let it sprout.
Crested Canaries, like all canaries, must be protected from mosquitoes, which can carry the deadly and disfiguring canary pox, in addition to other dangerous diseases. There is a vaccine for canary pox and if you live in an area where it's a reality that mosquitoes may get into your home from time to time, strongly consider asking your vet for this one-time vaccine.
The Crested Canary and its Crest-bred Canary consort have been kept in captivity for hundreds of years, and they thrive on a relatively easy-to-provide seed-based diet. The backbone of most Canary diets is a high quality canary seed mix formulated especially for canaries, with a high proportion of canary, rape, flax, linseed, sterilized hemp, thistle, and not too much millet. Some high-end seed mixes also contain freeze-dried fruits and vegetable bits, and anise may give the mix a wonderful aroma.
You should regularly test the Crested Canary's seed for freshness by soaking and sprouting the seed. If the seed doesn't sprout, it's too old and stale for your canary. You can also buy special seeds that are easy to sprout in the home. These so-called soaking seed blends may include sunflower, safflower, and wheat that would otherwise be too large or too difficult for a Canary to crack by itself, yet once sprouted, they will gain in vitamins and become soft, delicious treats that your bird will love.
However, seed alone just isn't enough. Chopped fresh greens like unsprayed chickweed, dandelion greens, and oregano are highly recommended, but any healthy greens such as the flowering heads of broccoli or chopped fruit like apples, apricots, and so on, will add vitamins and flavor to the diet. You should also be able to find some pellets formulated especially for Canaries. Some people report that their Canaries first learned to eat their pellets after they sprinkled them with a little apple juice.
What about protein for the Crested Canary? Many people make a classic eggfood which consists of a hard-boiled egg chopped up well, with about 1 teaspoon of brewer's yeast (NEVER baking yeast) stirred into the mix. Don't leave eggfood sitting around. Remove what's left in the bowl after a couple of hours. It's especially important to provide the eggfood to molting or breeding birds.
Written by Elaine Radford
resilient birds, beautiful pet Canary, wonderful singer, canary song, beautiful song
calm birds, minimal costs, Beatles hairdo look
Charming to see, charming to hear
For many years, I always had a pair of crested canaries, and I would allow them to occasionally raise a brood so that I could raise a little extra money for the bird food fund. I liked the early Beatles hairdo look of the birds, and I liked the easy song from the male. My first pair lived for over 10 years, as did my second pair. In fact, my second pair might be singing yet, since I had to sell them after a natural disaster when I didn't have a mosquito-free place to keep them while I was rebuilding my home. They are strong and resilient birds, calm and not at all flighty, easy to house and easy to take care of. While they are sold for looks rather than song, I considered my males to be great singers. I sold one of my babies to a neighbor that I kept in touch with for a few years, and this male, as the solo canary in the home, became a wonderful singer who could be heard trilling all over the house. Of course, you should be prepared to play recordings of canary song to any young, single male that you buy. Canaries learn songs; they do not automatically know how to sing well just by instinct.
The only downside to the birds is that sometimes crested canaries will get harmless tumors, that are impacted abnormal feathers. I believe that you should always mate a bird with a crest to a canary without a crest to minimize the chance of this happening to one of your youngsters. In my case, I would simply choose an inexpensive non-crested yellow female to be the partner to my males..
From peachfront Jun 9 2012 5:23PM
My First Canary
I've always been a dog person, so when I assumed the responsibility of taking on a pet canary, I was stepping outside my comfort zone. Of course, I already had a dog at the time, and I know I believed on some level that the bird, living always in
a cage, would add little or no work to my life as a pet owner. This, it seems hardly necessary to say, was a foolish misconception, and in fact the bird came with many hassles. In no way do I regret having Pete around, and I've nothing but
good memories of the little guy, but I do suspect my canary-keeping days are behind me. For starters, Pete seemed to have virtually no need for affection, and actually it appeared as if he feared being touched. I could not even stroke his tail
feathers when he happened to have them poking out of his cage, without him going berserk and flying around in panicked circles. I suppose this instinct serves small birds well in their natural habitats where predators abound, but it was always frustrating for me, who would never hurt a hair (or feather) on an animal's head and enjoys warm physical contact with his pets. As I alluded to, cleaning up after him was also a pain, and if anything this part was genuinely worse than the
equivalent for a dog, since a bird of course cannot be taught to do his business outside. For that matter, Pete never actually went outside, which was another problem. I just couldn't bring myself to be quite comfortable with the fact that he
always had to be in that cage. I can see that to Pete's simple brain, perhaps the mere facts of having a safe place to live and an inexhaustible supply of food provided all the meaning and fulfillment he ever needed. But I know that I could never be happy in a cage, even if I were fed and cared for. Of course, none of this was Pete's fault, and in the end it never really even detracted from the experience of having him around; he never seemed unhappy, always merrily chirping away, and if truth be told I expect pets to be messy. I just can't confidently say we were able to forge a powerful bond, Pete and I. I'm not quite sure he had any interest in or need for that..
From Eternalendrea Feb 20 2014 3:06AM