What bird gets its name from a collection of islands? What bird did your grandma most likely keep as a pet?
The answer to both queries is the canary (Serinus canarius). Contrary to common belief, the Canary Islands were not named after canaries; in fact, the reverse was true. When Spanish sailors found these magnificent birds, they were so taken with their singing that they brought several back to Spain. The canaries made their way from Spain into houses all around Europe.
The little brownish-green bird discovered by sailors on the Islands was the origin of today’s various canary varieties. American singer, German roller, Spanish timbrado, Belgium waterslagger, border canary, gloster (crested) canary, Norwich canary, Yorkshire canary, frilled canary, lizard canary, fife canary, and red-factor canary are among these breeds.
Canaries, although tiny in compared to parrots, need a cage that is 20 to 24 inches length, 12 to 16 inches wide, and 16 to 18 inches high. Never place a canary (or any other bird) in a spherical cage. (Imagine how you’d feel if you went around in circles all day.) Canaries would have the same reaction.) They need enough area to exercise. Bar spacing should also be taken into account. A general rule of thumb is 1/2 inch between bars to avoid both escapes from the cage and small heads being stuck between the bars. Cages are often equipped with food and drink containers, perches, and a swing. However, many perches that come with cages are plastic and relatively narrow. Such perches may cause foot issues in your canary. To give your bird’s feet a good workout, use a variety of wooden perches. Above importantly, stay away from sand-covered perches available at pet shops and grocery stores. These irritate the feet of birds and may be comparable to standing on thumbtacks all day. Finally, position the cage in an area of your house that is free of drafts.
Grains, seeds, pellets, fruits, and fresh vegetables, particularly green vegetables like broccoli and kale, should be included in canary diets. Include a cuttlebone, but avoid using gravel at all costs. Birds do not need gravel since they shell their seeds. Avocado and chocolate are harmful to birds and should never be offered to them. Of course, fresh, clean water should be provided on a regular basis in the form of a water tube for drinking and a small bowl for bathing.
If you want to breed your canaries, utilize a double cage with a detachable wire barrier so that the male and female have their own cage until they’re ready to procreate. You may hang a tiny nest cup (about 4 inches) in the cage. Nesting material, such as short cotton threads, should be provided. The female will lay 4 to 6 eggs, generally one day apart. The incubation period is around 13 to 14 days. To ensure that the newborns have a good diet, the parents must be provided egg protein and vegetables. When the offspring hatch, both parents normally take up feeding chores, even after they fledge in approximately 18 days. The newborns should be able to feed on their own after around 4 weeks.
Canary couples should not have more than two families every year since the birds will grow exhausted, particularly the female, whose body is readily drained. Reinstall the partition and remove any nesting items to separate the pair. The young may coexist in a separate cage until they reach maturity the following spring.
While some female canaries sing quietly, male canaries are excellent singers who can deliver hours of wonderful music. Canaries have also been seen “picking up” repetitive noises from the houses in which they reside. One canary who lived near a fire station learned to mimic the siren. So don’t be shocked if your canary starts singing anything he hears.
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