The Canary: Not Only Tuneful, but Easy to Care For

Canaries originated in the aptly-named Canary Islands, and when the Spanish conquered the land in 1496, they were so taken with these beautiful, little birds that they couldn’t wait to introduce them to the rest of the world! Over time, various countries bred their own versions of these birds according to color, type, and song, and today there are hundreds of varieties to choose from. Though only the males can sing, both sexes make wonderful pets that are easy to care for.

Canaries as Pets

These birds have sweet, passive personalities and won’t harm people or other pets. They tend to prefer and seem happiest when they are alone, and they don’t demand a lot of attention. This hardy species has an average life span of 10 to 15 years. Most canary illnesses are a result of improper care pertaining to diet, drafts, or a dirty cage. While they can be tamed or trained, it's best to start when they're young.

Care and Feeding

Canaries require fresh food and water each day, with canary seed as their main source of food. Variety and supplementation in the form of greens, fruits, and a weekly protein supplement is also important. Treats placed in a fun treat dispenser not only provide nutrition but mental stimulation as well, though they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for food.

Room to fly is also essential, and minimum cage requirements for a single bird are 30 inches long and 16 inches tall. Keep in mind, cages should be long rather than tall. The cage should have good light and ventilation, but should be placed away from doors and windows to avoid drafts and direct sunlight. The cage should contain several perches placed away from food and water dishes and other treats so they're not soiled by droppings. Keep a variety of toys on hand and rotate them periodically to keep the canary interested.