The Canary: The Perfect Cheerful Companion

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Looking For a New Pet

Are you looking for a new small pet? Do you live in an apartment or small house, but you would like a new, cheerful companion? Do you love music and want a pet that shares your interest? It sounds like you might be looking for a canary!

A canary is a beautiful and often yellow bird from the finch family. They originated from the Canary Islands. Canaries are now domesticated and sold as pets. They are excellent singers with an extremely pleasant disposition. I had a canary for 8 years and I highly recommend having a canary as a pet.

 

Tweety and Big Bird - Canary Celebrities

Canaries used to be the most popular pet bird until the parakeet became easier to find in any pet store. Since the parakeet is often sold at a lower price, the canary unfortunately declined in popularity. It is a shame considering they make such a sweet pet. You may remember Tweety Bird and Big Bird from your childhood, and yes, they are both canaries. I tried to research Woodstock (Snoopy's friend) but I cannot confirm or deny the canary rumors for him. Woodstock will remain a mystery.

Aside from the childhood canary celebrities, real canaries can be just as charming. Canaries can be trained to become excellent singers. Typically, the male canary is brighter in color and the better singer, but that is not always the case. I had a female canary that was beautiful and a wonderful singer. As a matter of fact, we were under the impression we had a male canary until the day our "male" canary laid an egg. So please do not let anyone talk you out of getting a female canary.

My favorite personality trait of canaries is their love of music. Believe it or not, canaries not only love music, but they can have favorite songs. A canary will pretty much chirp happy notes with any song, but if a canary is particularly fond of a song - look out! The bird will often hop around and sing a song of joy! Many people underestimate a canary's ability to interact in such a way, but believe me, canaries pick their favorite songs and you will know it.

 

Red Factor Canary

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Purchasing Canary and Supplies

When you go to buy a canary, I will warn you, your selection may be limited. Unfortunately, as I said before, since the parakeet is now sold at such a discounted price, it is hard to find a large variety of canaries in the pet store. You may want to research in your area and find a breeder. You would definitely want to contact a breeder if you are interested in a specific type of canary, such as the Red Factor. They are harder to find in a standard pet store. I recommend calling several pet stores and some of the smaller pet shops. Local, smaller pet shops are more likely to know breeders in the region and can help you out.

Once you've decided to get your canary, you want to get a large cage for her. Canaries are birds that love to fly, so you want your canary to have as much space as possible. Also, please keep in mind that canaries are not the type of birds that like to be handled. If you are looking for a bird that will stand on your finger, a canary is not the choice for you. You may want to get a parakeet, a lovebird, or a cockatiel. This is why the canary needs such a large cage; all of her activities will be in the cage.  The height of the cage will not be as important as the length.  Imagine your bird flying back and forth, and you will understand why the cage should be wide instead of tall.

Your canary will need a pellet or seed based canary food to eat. Also, your canary will need a cuttle bone to peck. This is good for your canary's beak. There is some debate about whether canaries need gravel to digest their food. I always made sure my canary had gravel in her cage at all times. My thoughts are better safe than sorry. You may want to ask a canary breeder, but I know my canary and parakeet always had a good supply of gravel. You can sprinkle it in with their seeds or keep it in a separate dish. You want to make sure the canary has a water dish filled with fresh water at all times, as well.

Some canaries really enjoy toys and other canaries are indifferent to them. It never hurts to get your canary a small toy or two, and see how it goes. My canary loved her mirror and her swing, but did not care for any other toys. She did, however, adore a bird bath. I highly recommend getting a bird bath that attaches to the door of the cage. Not only will your bird love to splash and wash in the bird bath, it is plenty of fun to watch.

 

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Some Parting Notes

I know you are ready to run out and get your canary right now. Before you do anything, please remember canaries can be a big commitment. Canaries typically live about 10 to 15 years.

Some people believe you can buy a bird, put them in a cage, and just plop them down in a corner. It is not as simple as that. You need to take the time to train the bird. Birds require a lot of attention, although canaries and finches usually require a little less attention than birds in the parrot family. Although some people will say a canary is not able to learn tricks, this is not true at all. A canary can learn simple commands like, "Jump on your swing" or "Look in your mirror." They are extremely clever little birds and should not be underestimated.

Since canaries can be a little messy, you will need to clean their cage every day or every other day. You also have to fill the dishes with new food, gravel, and water each day. If that schedule is too demanding for you, you will probably find that a bird is not the right pet for you. These are all things to seriously consider before getting any bird.

Now that you have read the entire hub, I hope you have determined that you are ready for a canary. They are charming, wonderful pets. I loved my canary dearly and I still miss her. She has been gone for years, but she was a little darling. I hope you find a canary that is just as cheerful, smart, and beautiful.

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Comments 14 comments

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina

I had a cockatiel in college and I adored her. I would have a bird now, but with 5 cats in the house I don't thing that would work out to well.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Wow, 5 cats - I can't blame you for not having a bird now. I don't have a bird now because I am not home during the day. Since birds start to go to sleep around the time I would be getting home, it seems selfish to have any. I have a hamster now since hamsters start to wake up around the time I get home.


pinkydoo profile image

pinkydoo 5 years ago from New York

My husband and I used to own a pet store, and you're right; parakeets were the big sellers! I found this article very interesting and informative...I've always thought canaries are really pretty birds - and I never knew they could have a favorite song!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, canaries are wonderful pets. Both my canary and my parakeet had favorite songs. My canary was especially fond of some of the Weather Channel songs and country songs.


MsQuestion profile image

MsQuestion 5 years ago from New Jersey

That orange canary is absolutely beautiful! So canaries can also be orange and not just yellow?


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, the can be red or orange. One time I saw a pink canary at a pet store. I'd never seen one before and I desperately wanted it, but he was too expensive.


MsQuestion profile image

MsQuestion 5 years ago from New Jersey

That orange canary is the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen...(it's funny; I just wrote a hub about how much I love the color orange)! About how much do canaries run, money wise?


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

They usually run around $100 or more. The pink canary I wanted was about $150 that time. Bummer! Sadly, I think I am going to have to take down some of the photos from this page. I had not noticed a copyright symbol until now. I wrote the source for each picture, but that is probably not enough. I hope to replace the photos with some equally as beautiful.


sue 5 years ago

hi my canarie layed an egg 3 weeks ago but not in a nesting box in her food dish she was on this all the time then a week ago i looked in the dish no egg no chick can you tell me why and what happened to the egg as its not in he cage and theres no signes of egg shell or owt thanks


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

To be honest, I am not sure where the egg went. It is normal for a canary to lay eggs in the food dish though. My canary used to do that, but we immediately removed the egg. She must have gotten rid of the egg somehow. She probably could tell it would not hatch.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

My Grandmother always had one canary or another...she loved to listen to them whistle in the morning. I sort of grew to like them....but I like cats better and the 2 don't mix well, I don't think. Like this hub!! UP++


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I know what you mean. Every pet I really enjoy does not go well with cats: birds, hamsters, fish. I absolutely love canaries though. I just don't have one right now. Thanks for the comment!


joelthepowerboy 4 years ago

my canary was only $10 dollars from the royal southern canary association of tasmania


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

That is a great price! They are so much more expensive in my area. I love canaries and would love to get a new one. Thanks for sharing!

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    Jeannie InABottle (Jeannieinabottle)1,161 Followers
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