The tiny canary is the most popular songbird in Europe


The canary finch (Serinus canaria) is a domesticated subspecies of the canary finch.

Country of origin: Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira Island
Dimensions: singing and colored canary: from 13.5 to 14.5 cm, decorative: from 11 to 23 cm
Plumage color: bright yellow (most common), white, red, brown, light brown.
Lifespan: 10-15 years

The history of the spread of canaries around the world

The 16th century is considered the period when canaries were brought by sailors from the Canary Islands, first to the Faroe Islands, and then to Europe: Spain - Italy - the countries of northern Europe. The Spanish sailors, when they first landed in the Canaries, could not help but pay attention to the small, yellow songbirds kept in cages made of reeds - the favorites of the local population.

At the end of the 15th century, after the Canary Islands were colonized by the Spaniards, they began to sell canaries at a very high price (only male canaries, so that it was impossible to reproduce the birds). But this could not continue for long, and soon the yellow birds began their triumphal march through the countries of Europe. There is a legend that a Spanish ship carrying canaries on board was shipwrecked off the coast of Italy, the birds broke free and, feeling comfortable in natural conditions, began to multiply quickly. In the wild, yellow songbirds prefer to live in mountain forests, with sunny meadows, but they also like to live in gardens and parks, which is why Italy turned out to be an ideal territory for these birds to live.

All of Europe fell in love with canaries. The Germans especially loved lemon-yellow birds. Germany has become the center of Europe for their breeding and selection. The Tyrolean canary, bred by the Germans, gave rise to many species that differ in their vocal abilities.

In 1718, about 27 breeds of canaries had already been bred in France alone, so everyone loved this little bird.
However, from Germany the birds spread to the countries of North America and even to Australia. Good singers among the canaries were quite expensive, but many connoisseurs were willing to pay such a price for the opportunity to enjoy melodious trills at home, as well as the company of a cute pet.

Birds regularly participated in exhibitions, because their admirers could not help but boast about their stunning singing favorites. It seemed that European countries were competing with each other in breeding canaries. For example, in Holland they began to breed birds, giving importance to body shapes and sizes, and in England they experimented with red and orange shades of plumage, adding cayenne pepper to the birds’ food during molting.

It was discovered that canaries were receptive to learning and this led to a new wave of interest in them - now the birds were taught tricks and tricks. Some individuals could imitate human speech, which delighted those around them.

Among canary connoisseurs, it was believed that birds should be fed differently, depending on the species. For example, Harz canaries were fed with boiled eggs mixed with white bread, and Dutch canaries were fed with hemp seeds.

Breeds (species) of canaries

Since these songbirds are widespread, there are quite a few breeds of them today.
The most popular are: Norwich, Lizard, Crested, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Parisian Curly, Border, Fife Fancy.

There are many species and breeds of canaries, which can be divided into the following groups:
► colored;
► singers;
► decorative.

Among the colored birds, it is difficult to choose the bird with the most beautiful plumage, since they all amaze with the brightness and cheerfulness of their color. The most valuable are the red ones obtained from crossing a canary with a fire siskin. Colored ones, in turn, are divided into melanic (in the plumage of which yellow and red pigments predominate) and lipochromic (white).

Decorative ones vary in size and body shape. Some of them have a fairly strong physique. There may be other features. For example, the humpbacked canary has a lowered head and its back is an almost vertical line, which makes it seem like the bird has a hump.

Singing canaries have different voices and singing styles. Some birds are able to vocalize loudly and expressively, while others produce a low sound, similar to a hum. Singers are divided into three groups:
► Waterslager (Malinois canary, originally from Belgium): sings slowly, clearly, the sound is deep and distinct;
► Hartzer (roller from Germany): dull and continuous song, with a predominance of the “r” sound;
► stamped (from Spain): produces cheerful, cheerful and at the same time gentle trills, reminiscent of the sound of bells.

Caring for a canary

If you have purchased a canary, you need to know how to properly care for such a fragile creature. This bird is very unpretentious and caring for it will not require any extra expenses from you.

Feeding. The main food for canaries, of course, is grain and mixtures of its various types. Best of all

If you purchase a ready-made grain mixture rather than compose it yourself, then the bird’s diet will be more balanced and it will not lack nutrients and vitamins. Various seeds can be added to the grain; birds also love them. Suitable seeds are turnips, cucumbers, poppy seeds, zucchini, as well as wild plants: plantain, nettle, dandelion. Add chickpeas and sesame seeds to the food - and your feathered friend will be very grateful to you. Nuts and sunflower seeds can also be given, but occasionally – up to 2-3 times a week, because they are too fatty and frequent consumption of such food can impair the canary’s health.

Dried fruits (prunes and dried apricots soaked in water) can be given approximately 1-2 times a week. When creating a healthy diet for your bird, do not ignore fresh vegetables, fruits, and berries in season. Canaries will appreciate: cabbage, lettuce, pumpkin and carrots, cucumbers and beets, greens; apples and pears, apricots, peaches, cherries. Hard vegetables and root vegetables should first be grated on a fine grater. Add chopped boiled egg, crushed crackers or low-fat cottage cheese to the vegetable mush.

In winter, you can offer the bird twigs of currant, apple, cherry, linden, rowan - all this will saturate the canary with vitamins and beneficial microelements.

Songbirds love a varied diet. It is best not to offer your canary the same thing every day. A monotonous diet can negatively affect the bird’s plumage: it will fade, and the mechanism of unscheduled molting will start. Also, the canary's metabolism is disrupted from the same food.

You need to offer food to your feathered friend twice a day - morning and evening. It is best to place two feeders in the cage: one for dry grain food, and the second for fresh, juicy food.

Water for drinking. The optimal temperature of water for a canary is room temperature. It is best to purchase a drinking bowl made of glass or porcelain, with low sides. We recommend hanging it on the bars of the cage so that soaked food, litter, etc. do not get into the water. Bird food should be changed every day.

Toys. The favorite toys of birds are: mirror, swings, ladders, bells, etc. You can purchase several and change them from time to time to make it more interesting for your feathered pet to play with them.

Bathing. Canaries are great lovers of water treatments. You can install a bathing suit in the cage, but leave it there only for bathing time. The water should be warm - about 20-22 degrees. It is necessary to fill the bathing suit halfway with water so that the bird does not drown.

Cell. The most important and primary task is to acquire a home for the bird. You can purchase a cage made of wood (beech, ash, oak and other hardwoods) or metal (metal is easier to care for). Transparent plexiglass cages also exist, but are not widely used, allowing you to better see your feathered friend.

Cage dimensions: length: 30-35 cm, width: 20-25 cm, height: 27-35 cm. Shape: it is best to choose rectangular rather than round.
The cage must have a double retractable bottom. The tray should be cleaned daily.

The perches (perches) in the cage should be hollow to make them easier to clean and disinfect. The distance between them should be such that the bird does not feel constrained, but can flutter from one perch to another. Recommended diameter of poles: 1-1.5 cm. It would be best to install them at different levels. The perches should be rough and vary in thickness. Choose from plastic or hardwood.

Cleaning the cage should be done regularly, 2 times a week or even more often. The bird needs to be transplanted while cleaning from its house, and everything that is inside (drinkers, tray, perches, bathing bowls, feeders, toys, ladders, etc.) must be removed, washed, doused with boiling water to destroy pathogenic bacteria, and then – wipe with chamomile infusion or disinfectant solution, dry and only then place back in the cage. Place dried chamomile flowers under the tray, and sand on the tray itself, with the addition of ground boiled chicken egg shells. Such components will saturate the canary’s body with minerals and improve the functioning of its digestive system.

Health of the bright lemon feathered friend

Despite their fragile constitution, canaries in captivity can live up to 12 and sometimes up to 15 years. However, if you do not care for your yellow bird properly, it may get sick.

The most common ailments of singing pets are:
► indigestion or disruptions in the gastrointestinal tract;
► skin and feather diseases;
► problems with the respiratory system;
► infections;
► parasites;
► loss of voice;
► inflammation of the goiter (birds swell in size, “crest”).

If you have a canary at home, get contact information for a qualified ornithologist in advance.

During the molting period, the bird's body becomes more vulnerable. A canary may temporarily stop singing and not raise its voice at all, so as not to waste energy that it does not have right now.

so much. What can you do to help your feathered friend get through this difficult period quickly?

► Add more light: daylight or fluorescent lamp.
► Balanced, varied diet. Add more vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs to your feathered friend's diet. You can also purchase ready-made feed mixtures designed specifically for birds during the molting period.
► Remove the bird from stress (noise, being around other pets, etc.).

To keep your canary healthy, it is very important to protect it from cold and temperature changes. Place your songbird's cage away from drafts. Regularly clean and disinfect her house; this will protect the canary from helminths, ticks, the development of asthma and many other diseases.

Canaries are sensitive to strong, unpleasant odors. Try to regularly ventilate the room, while avoiding drafts and preventing the bird from freezing

The claws of your feathered friend also require care. As they grow, they prevent the canary from sitting on the perch and lead to self-injury of the legs. Therefore, the claws must be cut with nail scissors, nail tongs, or filed off with a special nail file. To make the bird endure this procedure more easily, do not rush to grind or cut off all the claws at once.

Interesting facts about canaries

► Did you know that cute little yellow birds have a good memory? They perfectly remember sounds (especially those made by other birds) and their sequence, and are then able to reproduce them. The canary is able to incorporate some of the sounds it remembers into its song.
► The canary's singing originally served for the bird's survival in the wild. When she sang, she wanted to mark her territory and protect it from other birds who intended to profit from the food supplies located there.
► Canary trills usually last up to 45 seconds. The song has its own introductory, main and final parts.
► For a long time, these songbirds were used to detect firedamp in UK mines. Canaries are very sensitive to unpleasant odors. What can we say about the fact that a bird can die from inhaling carbon monoxide or methane. Thus, the canary saved many lives - miners and mine rescuers. Yellow birds were used in mines until 1987.
► Various vegetables, berries and herbs, when eaten, can make the canary’s plumage much brighter. But if a bird often eats nuts and seeds, the color of the feathers will darken.

Who would like a feathered friend - a singing canary?

The canary is a meek, gentle songbird by nature. She is friendly and doesn't really need to be tamed. If you communicate with her in an even, calm, gentle voice, the feathered beauty will quickly get used to you and will soon sit on your shoulder.

The canary is trusting of people and easy to care for. It breeds easily in captivity (and it’s not surprising, since these birds have been living in people’s homes for about 500 years!).

Ideal as a pet for families with small children. Kids will be able to learn how to care for a weaker pet that needs affection, care and protection and will be happy to receive a beautiful and melodious song from the lemon-colored bird in gratitude for their efforts.

In the E-ZOO online store you can purchase products for animals, including birds. We have a wide range of food from the best manufacturers, cages, toys, drinking bowls, feeders, swim baths, treats, vitamins, etc. Visit our website and choose accessories for your favorite feathered friend!

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