The definition of a Canary is a "yellow songbird of the Finch family." In actuality, a wild canary is either green or brownish in colour. There are many types of canaries in a wide variety of colour's. Red, white and bronze are some of the common colour's. There are also several different species of the canary, most of which have been created by man through breeding, mutation or genetic manipulation. The most popular canary is the singer. It is the cross of two different species of canaries and has developed one of the most beautiful voices. Only the male canaries sing, females do not. Reasons for this might be that in the wild the male canary sings to attract a mate or because the male is the more dominant bird.

A canary's normal life span is between 8 - 10 years. However, many of the species are now living 10+ years. Their moulting or shedding season is in the late summer. During this time, the males stop singing and the females stop breeding. If you have colour additives such as, carotene, this is the time to feed it to them. Canary breeding season is a great time for kids. They will nest in an open cup and they won't budge from the nest. They also breed very readily in captivity. The average incubation period is only 14 days. Babies will leave the nest by 3 weeks of age. At this time, the babies look very underdeveloped. The mother may also leave them at this time. In canary life, the father does all the raising of the young when the babies leave the nest, while the mother will sit on another clutch of eggs. If the father is not present, the mother will step in and do the raising of the babies.

Feeding a Canary is simple. Apart from seed, they can eat all kinds of fruits and vegetables. They should eat seed specifically for canaries. Cuttlebone and grit should always be provided and is essential to their diet. For babies, there is an egg-food mixture that you can soak in water that is high in protein.

The choice between male or female seems to be an important one. The male, particularly some varieties, will sing constantly. Some people love this of course and hence prefer the males. Others may not appreciate the constant singing and prefer a female. Some of the types available are Norwich, Borders, Lizards, Yorkshires, Spanish Timbradas, German Rollers, Fife, and of course, the Singer. One of the most unusual types sold today is the Parisian Frill. The Parisian Frill gets its feathers that tend to grow out curving up, like old-fashioned ladies feather hat.

Basic Requirements

If you are about to get a canary, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any canary.

  • Canary Cage or Aviary
  • Water/Food Feeders (usually with cage)
  • Shell Grit
  • Canary Seed

Optional Requirements

  • Full flight cage or aviary
  • Bird Bath
  • Calcium grit
  • Calcium & Iodine bells or supplements
  • Toys


Suitable For People Aged: 5 & over
Experience Required: None. Care sheet & info
Feeding Care Time Required: 10min a day
Maintenance Time Required: 1/2 Hour a Week
Minimum Space Required: Canary Cage or Aviary
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $4 Per Week
Life Span: (approx) up to 10 years
Availability: All year