This popular songbird can be obtained in a great variety of forms and colors. The wild canary has green color plumage. One of the most popular varieties is known as the Border Fancy. This is described here.
The Canary species of bird is commonly bred in captivity. Though the bird in captivity is available in various colors in the wild the bird is available in yellowish green along with brownish streaks. The bird is ideal for pet owners who are trying out their hands in pet care for the first time as they do not require much attention.
Size: 14 cm (51/2 in)
The cock of the bird’s breed is available in a wide range of colors including yellow (buff), white, green, and cinnamon. Beak: small and conical. Eyes: bold and dark. Chest: well-rounded, tapering towards underparts. The stance of a good show specimen should give an angle of 60 degrees when perching. It should appear alert and lively.
Similar, but she is usually lighter or duller in color compared to the cock. The most reliable indication of this is the song of the cock bird. The hen merely chirps.
Diet: (Seedeater) Proprietary brand canary mixture contains a blended mix of all the necessary seeds. Some groats and niger seeds may be added in cold weather. Green food should be supplied regularly. Grit and cuttlefish: one must always be available.
It is most important to make sure that cock and hen are both in breeding condition. If either partner is not ready, any attempt at mating will prove unsuccessful.
Canary nest pans, easily purchased from pet stores, should be provided.
These are lined with felt nest liners or other soft materials. Canaries also nest in square wooden nest boxes fitted with perforated zinc bases which allow plenty of cool air to circulate.
Four to five eggs are laid on consecutive days. The eggs should be removed one by one and stored, marked in number order, in a felt-lined box. Artificial eggs, purchased from pet stores, must be placed under the hen until the evening of the fourth day when they should be removed and the real eggs replaced so she may start incubation. The incubation period is 13 to 14 days.
If the hen is reluctant to bathe, eggs should be moistened with warm water while she is off the nest feeding. Proprietary brand canary-rearing food is available from pet stores and whole-meal bread and milk may be offered. Chickweed is eagerly consumed by breeding birds.
Canary chicks grow very quickly so the rearing food must be regularly increased in quantity. Within 16 to 20 days, chicks are ready to leave the nest. They are dependent on their parents for food for a further ten days. By the time the brood is fully independent, the hen is usually ready to lay eggs again.
Canaries are often cross-bred with certain British finches to produce attractive hybrids known as ‘mules’.
See more: California Quail